When she was 80 years old, Phyllis Greene became a first-time author with the publication of "It Must Have Been Moonglow: Reflections on the First Years of Widowhood." Unlike most first-time authors, her debut - which grew out of a journal she kept after her husband Bob's death - struck a chord and became a national best seller.
The response from her readers "helped me shed years," she writes, adding that she is younger today than she was two years ago. From this renewed sense of herself and the world around her, and from the support and response of her readers, Green wrote "Shedding Years: Growing Older, Feeling Younger" to help other aging Americans feel younger and better too.
She visits The Early Show on Wednesday to share her secret to feeling younger.
Memories and stories - and keeping those memories and stories alive - is vital to helping shed years, Green says.
"Remembering happy days, remembering being younger, remembering my children when they were little brings joy to me, and joy helps us all shed years. I feel that I am moving forward and planning ahead, but looking at the past, sometimes even at events that weren't so pleasant at the time, they have a different glow when seen through the rear view mirror," she says,coming to the conclusion that she has been "truly blessed."
"I am able to appreciate where I've been, the people around me, what I have in life, and can see it for what it is. I'm not saying I don't have off days. Believe me, I do. I don't go around in this happy fog all the time. But I've been really blessed with good things in my life and good people, and appreciating all those things does help me shed years off my life," she says.
The book, in fact, is not all joy and merriment. Green does address the very real problems that older Americans face today, like the loss of friends and family. But the key, Green says, is to be part of the world; to be active, involved, in-touch, and to live without dwelling on grief.
"To be involved, to be aware of what's doing in the world, to do the things you love, to feel alive and part of the world will help you shed years like nothing else," she says.