Affirmation: I savor all the joyful experiences of my
most people remember their negative or sad experiences better than they
remember their positive, happy experiences. According to the article we have a
tendency to dwell on the negative and sad and to barely notice the joyful
experiences therefore, not fully absorbing them. The advice given was that we
take more notice of the uplifting events; that we let them soak into our
cellular structure by savoring them, not letting them slip by unvalued.
adopted the tool of each morning writing out three joys experienced the day
before. The practice is helping me pay
closer attention to what enhances the quality of my life. I notice those things that make me smile and
make a mental note. Then by writing them
out the next day I’m recording them
not only on paper but in my heart.
turned 92 this year. Have you ever wondered what you’d be like in your
old age, or if you’ll
even have an old age? (That’s
a whole other topic.) My mom, Margaret is 90 this year.
mother-in-law is named Yolanda. They both live independently and are lucky
enough to live in adult communities that offer not only a myriad of services
but easy access to community. They are also in very good health. I visit my mom regularly. Getting old is not for the faint of
heart. It can be a very difficult time
of life. I often wonder what that will
be like for me. I’ve been taking note of
how different people approach what appears to be the same situation. I’m taking notes with the hope that I will
learn how to maintain my sense of joy and adventure. Is it a deep abiding faith? Is it cellular, once an optimist, always an
optimist? Is it being able to review
your life and value, truly value, all you’ve accomplished?
usually travel to see Yolanda for her birthday. I spend the time soaking in the
joy that Yolanda eludes. She counts her birthday cards and reads each one to us
and tells us about the people who sent them, if we don’t already know them. If
we do know them, she tells us about them anyway. She tells us how wonderful
they all are. How kind and talented and smart they are. It’s such fun to
listen to her take pleasure in her family and friends. She’s one of the most
non-judgmental, unconditionally loving people I have ever met. I’ve been blessed by
having her for a mentor and a friend. I’ve
learned so much from this woman who readily accepted me as her daughter simply
because her son loved me.
We moved away from
the New York area very soon after her first granddaughter was born. Melissa was
six weeks old and we moved to a farm town five hours away. They must have been
so unsettled by our decision. But, they never let on, neither she nor Sandy’s dad, Joe. They
simply showed up any chance they got bringing home cooked meals and gifts
galore. I was young. I was a little defensive about keeping my own space, my
own house and I didn’t
fully appreciate what a gift I was being given.
Now, a grandmother myself I fully appreciate all she and Sandy’s father
did for us.
Savannah. She moved there right before her 90th birthday. We drove
her to the airport; she got on a plane and began a whole new life. I was in
awe. I can only hope that when I’m
90 I will have the gumption to make a lifestyle change.
lessons to learn about life from Yolanda. She has a deep abiding faith. She loves people; they are usually good and
kind and generous, according to her.
She’s lived a rich life caring for her family and pursuing a
career. Her whole view of life is
flavored with love: love of God, love of family and friends, love of memories,
love of being alive each and every day.
sure you have people in your life from whom you too have learned a lot. But,
one of the lessons I took away from
sharing Yolanda’s celebrations with her was how important it is to savor the
joys of our lives and to absorb them. I believe it will color our attitude, our
health, our quality of life not only now but for the rest of our lives and then
maybe we too can be 90 or 92 or 100+ and giggle and enjoy all the wonderful
moments and celebrations of our lives.