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Happy 105th Birthday to the Amazing Jayne Blair

By Rene Brooks

Yes, that’s right! Long time Sarasota resident, Jayne Blair, born in 1913, turned 105 years young on December 11th, 2018.

We wanted to follow up with Jayne since doing an article on her a few years back and she was once again more than pleased to grant us an interview. This time around we are hoping to learn where she keeps her very own secret Fountain of Youth. The following are some generalities she lives by and of course certain habits she has developed over the years. Some of these might surprise you and some are ones we all hope to incorporate in our daily routine so we might live healthier and happier, no matter how long we hope to live.

Jayne has always been active and remains occupied with some of her favorites even today. She was an accomplished swimmer, ice and roller skater, even studying ballet and piano from an early age. Charity work has always been important to Jayne because she said, “it was easy too do good work when you were helping people.” She still swims on occasion, has taken up Mahjong and continues her love of languages by studying Spanish.

Surprisingly enough technology doesn’t scare Jayne, she actually embraces it. She was pleased to report that in fact she can operate an IPhone, IPad and write and answer emails. Jayne makes a point of saying, “you just have to adjust to new things.” She works hard to keep an open mind and “always be ready to try anything.”

Staying busy seems to be Jayne’s mantra and her dog, Dilly, helps her do just that. She discourages herself from sitting too long and pushes herself to “just get up and walk!”

Traveling too has always been an enjoyable hobby of Jayne’s, the Egyptian pyramids her most memorable. She comments though that, “going 1st Class is the best way to travel because it gives you more of what you want to experience.”

Jayne feels she has been blessed with “good genes” on both sides. Her maternal and paternal Aunts lived to 95 and 96 years of age respectively. There are still some daily habits she follows strictly, for example not deviating from her daily schedule. She eats three meals a day without varying her routine regardless of whether she is hungry or not. The meals are always balanced with protein, veggies, carbs and fruit, but never the same protein 2 days in a row. She’s careful with her sweets, but does enjoy a glass of wine, “and maybe a half glass more,” now and again.

Her sleep schedule is however not as regular. She averages six hours a night, but not all at once, reading books of interest when she wakes. Water has never been her “go to” beverage and I find that contradictory to what most health columnists recommend, but it obviously seems to work for her. Appearances do matter to Jayne and her mother taught her at an early age that even if you “take the trash can out, dress up!”

In closing it’s paramount to stress just how important “mind set” is to Jayne. It’s her outlook on life and its valuable lessons she lives by that bring her real joy. Here are just a few, “If you fall down then get yourself up, always look forward and not behind (don’t dwell on mistakes), always try and find something you like about everyone”, and “do what you can, the best way you can, and you won’t be disappointed.”

She reminds us to look on the bright side because a “happy person lives longer!” Though life has dealt Jayne some real challenges and some obstacles over the years she credits her happy, positive outlook by reminding herself just how grateful she is for all that she has, mostly the special people in her life. She’s very fortunate to have loving caregivers who treat her just like family and visa versa.

Her closing advice is something for us all to live by, “just be kind and gentle,” and like Jayne, have a smile and friendly word for everyone you meet. Here’s to you Jayne Blair, the lessons you’ve taught us, and to many more birthdays to come!