Are you tired of being measured by the number of people who like and dislike your posts? If you’re losing sight of what is valuable in life, borrow some inspiration from a woman who begins her 90th year without ever having emailed, texted, posted or blogged anything. She has never communicated online, but she has plenty to say:
“I’m not afraid of dying, but I’m not ready to go yet.”
“Let me give you some extra names for pallbearers in case I outlive the ones we already listed.”
“I’m fine moving into the senior home as long as I don’t have to be around old people every day.”
“Doctor, is that drug habit forming? I don’t want to become an addict!”
And my favorite: “Let me tell you how you must handle old people,” she says, referring to them, not her. In fact, no one who attempts to “handle” this 89-year-old will live to tell about it.
It’s not a matter of how many months (or years) she has left on the planet; it’s about making the most of each day. Losing her hair from radiation treatments for a terminal illness (while her age alone would be enough of a drawback for others to give up), she decided it was time for a wig. And how about a few new outfits and some fresh Estée Lauder to complete the makeover? She’s not vain; she simply wants her outward appearance to reflect how she feels inside—at least 20 years younger.
”I don’t feel old,” she commented recently, “but then I look in the mirror and see that I am.” I disagree that the mirror tells on her, for she hardly has a crinkle or crease. Nevertheless, her new wig and lack of wrinkles—makeup or no makeup—easily shave off those 20 years.
Despite looking great and being young at heart, she is not in denial of her prognosis. I’ve never met a more pragmatic woman. “Life prepares you,” she told me a few years ago, when I asked her how she was holding it all together during the funeral of her beloved cousin, who left a hole in many lives when he passed away at 95.
In her ninth decade of facing life head-on, she has learned to accept the harshest challenges, deal with them, and move forward. Her generation survived The Great Depression and WWII (or, as Archie Bunker would say, “The Big One”). Her parents fed and clothed eight children on a shoestring, but she and her siblings never “felt poor” because their big family generated so much love. She has always counted her blessings, not material things, yet worked hard to make a good living and give to others in need.
“Sallie, count your blessings,” she advises me to this day.
And I do. What a blessing it is that this woman, 89 years young and counting, is my mother.
In sharing her words of wisdom and positive outlook, I hope you feel less stressed about what others say and more optimistic about what you can do.
My best to you,
Sallie W. Boyles, aka Write Lady