At 17-years-old she fell in love with a doctor of science nine-years her senior and this year they’ll celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. When we asked what the secret to her happy marriage is, alongside love, passion, communication and laughter, was the fact they’ve never stopped learning.
“When we met I was a teenage student nurse and he was a 26-year-old nuclear physicist so I knew from the start he’d keep me on my toes mentally, but I didn’t mind. I loved the fact he was so clever.”
Danish born Anette says she was in awe of her husband Ed’s ability to soak up information but also his zest for knowledge, which she says has only added to the sparkle of their half a decade long marriage.
‘Don’t let fear stop you from learning’
“It’s something I’ve become passionate about too,” she tells Lumity. “I’m not saying you have to learn a new language or instrument every month but having intrigue and interest I believe has been integral to keeping us young.”
In addition to their milestone marriage celebration Anette will also turn 70 this year, only who knows how she’ll find time for the big party she’s got planned.
The couple pack their schedule with local history clubs, Anglo-Scandanavian societies, gardening clubs, debate teams and a love of the great outdoors.
‘Your mind needs a workout’
“As you get older it can be easy to sit back and feel like there’s nothing new you want to learn. But I swear it’s our continued love of learning and meeting new people that’s helped keep us youthful. On top of that we always have something to talk about at the dinner table. It’s imperative you work out your mind just like you would your body.”
Anette admits they’re lucky to have many of the same interests but says even if you’re partner doesn’t or if you’re on your own don’t make it an excuse to stop challenging your brain.
“There are some things you’ll never understand. I can’t grasp the ‘chaos theory’ and Ed still can’t open a cardboard carton of milk!“ she jokes. “Apparently intelligence doesn’t always come with common sense!
‘Find something you love doing’
“But don’t let concerns that you’ll look silly stop you from leaping into a learning curve. I go to some talks and leave not having much of a clue about what they were talking about but at least I tried.
“So think of what you like to do. If it’s reading, join a book club, if it’s gardening find a gardening club. Nowadays there’s pretty much a club for anything and everything.
“As Henry Ford once said, anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
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