Aging gracefully has little to do with coloring your hair or putting on a facial cream. Just learn to live like Tama Murotani-Inaba, who recently celebrated her 90th birthday at the Palisades on Elliott Bay Marina.
For Tama, life began at 80. She married for the second time at the age of 83 to a younger man, Shane Inaba, now deceased. Tama learned bridge and Mahjong in her 80s, while serving six committees of different community organizations. Her friends described her as “outrageous.”
Her mind is alert, even sharper than my 80-year-old mother. That’s because she reads newspapers everyday to keep up with current affairs. She votes in every election. She lives in the moment and doesn’t complain about the past or dwell on people who have done her wrong. You might call her a party girl because she enjoys socializing and meeting people. She likes good food.
Gratitude is part of her character and her thank yous are never late.
Physically, Tama is strong even though she had a major heart operation not too long ago. Great taste is in her blood. She is drop-dead gorgeous and has a positive self-image. Never will you see her having a bad hair day or in an unmatched outfit.
Even with today’s scientific advancements, there is no consensus about how to slow down aging, said Joi Murotani Dennett, Tama’s daughter. However, “there appears to be reoccurring themes of values and behaviors that reflect the subjective identification of successful aging,” and Joi, noting what she has observed in her mom.
Having control or autonomy over one’s life is what is important, Tama insists. She still lives in her own condo and takes the bus on her own.
“She has a willingness to learn new resources and skills and practice these skills, and [she] volunteers,” said Joi. “No matter how old you are, don’t isolate yourself.”
A boring life is too much of a waste. ♦