There’s been a lot of inspirational stuff about older people in the press in the last week or two, which is always good.

There was, for example, much comment in the papers about the advanced age of many individuals tackling the London Marathon and how, since 2018, the number of female runners aged 50 and over had increased by a massive 65%.

I’ve also recently read several accounts of mid-to-later life folk completing degree courses.

I find such information really heartening. It’s great to hear of so many men and women ageing positively. And this kind of good news is particularly welcome at the moment, when the world seems to have gone mad, and we feel we have no control over the awfulness around us.

So, this week, I’m going to cheer us up further, by celebrating those activities, attitudes and characteristics which help us stay young in body and spirit. See how many apply to you, and then congratulate yourself. You never know, you might even feel motivated to add a few more to your repertoire. After all, we’re far too young to get old!

1. You’re determined to travel more after the years of lockdown. And you’re actively planning an adventure in the next few months to somewhere you’ve never previously been.

2. Your adult children borrow your clothes. This is a great compliment, and testament to your excellent and youthful taste.

3. You do at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise five days a week.

4. You cook from scratch – because you like to know exactly what is going into your body.

5. You normally live in casual outfits and trainers, but you haven’t lost the knack of dressing up if the opportunity presents itself. Those tight jeans or high heels still make an occasional appearance.

6. You’re comfortable with buying and selling on the internet.

7. You love the contact with others on social media and regularly post on Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram. Or all three.

8. You’re learning a new skill – such as a foreign language or a musical instrument.

9. You go to a dance class regularly.

10. You sing in a choir.

11. You relish the fact that you are infinitely more confident than you were when you were younger.

12. You have real, genuine friends who are at least 10 years your junior.

13. You have become more political. You often email your MP about issues that concern you. You’ve finally got round to joining a political party. You’re even wondering about standing as a councillor.

14. You take your grandchildren on holiday because you enjoy their company and love teaching and showing them new things.

15. You never groan or sigh when you sit or bend down. You know that’s very ageing.

16. You believe that opaque tights are the best invention ever.

17. You always eat the local food when you travel abroad. And in the UK, you will usually experiment with something new if you try out an unfamiliar restaurant.

18. You enjoy codewords, crosswords, Sudoku and Scrabble. They’re fun - and you like to keep your ‘little grey cells’ in shape.

19. You mastered Zoom during the pandemic because you had to. Now, you still use it to keep up to date with people you can’t see in real life. You have friends and family who are widely scattered, and you make time to maintain contact.

20. You do yoga and/or Pilates. Flexibility is everything.

21. You’d sooner be bald than have one of those safe, short, ‘helmet-head’ hairdos.

22. You swim in the sea regularly.

23. You feel more grateful for kindness than you used to.

24. You are good at cheering yourself up if you have to – by doing exercise, or ringing a friend, or watching a comedy that is guaranteed to make you laugh.

25. You are happier than your younger self.

26. You feel more connected to your neighbourhood than in your earlier days.

27. Beautiful scenery means more and more to you. It brings tears of gladness to your eyes.

28. If you have to make a complaint, you always use the Criticism Sandwich technique, where you say something nice, then firmly but calmly make your point about what’s wrong, before ending with a friendly, non-hostile comment. If you’re not already doing this, do try it. It keeps the process positive and pleasant. And gets results.

29. If you make a mistake – the sort that causes you to feel hot under the collar with shame or embarrassment – you own up to it, difficult though that may be. This is because you know you will have no peace of mind till you do. And you feel it’s right.

30. Finally, because you have learned the hard way that life can change and become compromised or more limited in the blinking of an eye, you treat every day as though it were your last. You make the most of your time and try never to waste it.