AARP International

Day In The Life

Ileana Borbón  |  San José  |  59 years old

Ileana lives with her husband of 35 years and her two sons, ages 24 and 28. She teaches foreign language classes online and visits with her parents and extended family at least once per week.

Ileana BorbónWhat is your typical day like?

I wake up at 6:30 a.m. and start teaching online at 7:30 a.m. I have breakfast around 9:00 a.m. and try to exercise on my home bike at least three or 4 times a week. I also like to watch “Body Work Out for Seniors” on YouTube and participate aactively.

At noon, I start preparing lunch. My husband and I normally eat at 1:00 p.m. In the evening, we have a snack, a refreshment or a glass of wine. Then we read together or individually or watch something— a documentary or a movie, sometimes a Netflix series.

Twice a week between 1 and 5 p.m., I work online. And I also try to exercise a bit if I haven’t had time to do it in the morning. Once a week, I go to my parents’ house and have “un Cafecito” (a cup of coffee) and talk about everything. I also enjoy getting together with my sisters (I have 4) and my brother and their families, but we are restricted now because of the pandemic.

What activities do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy doing many things. I really enjoy teaching languages and helping students communicate in a new language. I teach Spanish, English and French online. I also love sharing time with my family. Our sons are living with us right now and are working and studying online. We are enjoying this time a lot and have gotten a lot closer.

How do you stay mentally and socially active?

Things have changed with COVID, so we have been forced to socialize in a different way. I do not have “big meetings” with friends face-to-face anymore. We have Zoom meetings instead. For example, my book club and my Creative Cooking group meet once a month via Zoom now.

What do you find most challenging about growing older?

For me, growing older is a blessing! It is important to accept one’s age and try to do the best with what we have. Life is always too short to be worried about looking younger. We can look and feel good according to our ages and enjoy every day as if it were the last one. Of course, we start having some aches and things but that’s normal. Eating healthier food and exercising a bit every day helps. Something that I really enjoy is dancing!

What are your thoughts on aging in Costa Rica?

I really like the weather here. For example, we have two seasons: the dry and the rainy one, but the temperature is always similar. In San José the average is 24-26°C (around 75-78°F). Another advantage of living here is the beach and the mountains are just a one or two-hour drive away. I also enjoy being in the city, going to the theater or the National Symphony Orchestra, and visiting museums, galleries and different restaurants. And one of the best things about being here is that my parents and the majority of my siblings and friends live here!

Ileana baking bread

Baking bread

Ileana teaching a Spanish language class online

Ileana teaching a Spanish language class online

Sharing a glass of wine and snacks with husband at home

Sharing a glass of wine and snacks with husband at home

Cutting vegetables to make a

Cutting vegetables to make a "sofrito" with a bit of olive oil to be served with beef or as an antipasto with bread

Exercising at home on the stationary bike

Exercising at home on the stationary bike

Relaxing in her small indoor patio

Relaxing in her small indoor patio

“It is important to accept one’s age and try to do the best with what we have. Life is always too short to be worried about looking younger. We can look and feel good according to our ages and enjoy every day as if it were the last one.”

Gathering with family via Zoom for a virtual happy hour

Gathering with family via Zoom for a virtual happy hour

Ileana in front of her home

Ileana in front of her home

An in-person gathering at a friend's house — the first in nearly two years because of the pandemic

An in-person gathering at a friend's house — the first in nearly two years because of the pandemic

Catching up in the evening and reading online

Catching up in the evening and reading online

Planting trees in the front yard and gardening, a favorite pastime

Planting trees in the front yard and gardening, a favorite pastime

Kneading dough for bread

Kneading dough for bread

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