On Friday night we got to spend some time with Mike's Granny who turned 101! It seems like yesterday we celebrated her 100th birthday, but as I've heard, the years don't get any slower as you grow older. I don't know too many people personally who have reached this age but my hunch is, that in order to make it to triple digits - three things are really important: attitude, moderation and beliefs. While I've only known Granny K for a few years, I can tell you, she has lived and breathed those three things... and most likely without even acknowledging it because it seems to me that's been her natural, default approach to life. She's such a positive person (When asked personally what the secret to aging is Granny K responded "Well, I just hate to get old!" aka, I made the decision to stay young at heart.) And from what I've seen and from what Mike's family has shared with me, she really embraces the daily things through a strong conviction in her beliefs, a love and acceptance of her family no matter what, and a general happiness to spend time with her own self and anyone else who comes across her path. Her husband died around 30 years ago, so it could have been easy to accept a different attitude since when you look at the length of her life, she spent a big majority of it living alone. But she's not picky, she doesn't complain, she enjoys the occasional glass of wine or Bailey's in her coffee, bowled into her early 90's and up until very recently she stayed current with the news. In other words she really doesn't sweat the small stuff and she learned to do things for her own happiness and interests and positively embraced the changes in her life as they came up.
Having worked with seniors before, and just generally reading lots of stuff about "how to life a live with purpose (Wild, Eat, Pray, Love, or the Happiness Project, anyone?!) it seems to me like so many of us get hung up on the small stuff... like not wanting to spend time alone, having a fear of the unknown or being reluctant to change, focusing on aches and pains (and making that a topic in and of itself), and holding onto grudges for a lifetime. Personally, she's been an inspiration to me to just let go and live. And to embrace my alone time ( <--- that's one I'll be working on my entire life!) And also to try to remember that getting older doesn't mean life is any less rich; when we were visiting With Kay on Friday, her youngest great-grandson who is three months old was there, and when I saw her look at him, her eyes were no less filled with wonder then they would have been if she was 60 or 50 years old. He was just as special, this new addition to her ever growing family. And in my opinion that's aging with richness - never loosing sight of the wonder that is right in front of you.
I just had to share this because she's a remarkable lady and I'm channeling this inspiration on a very snowy and dreary winter Monday. Have a good week everyone :)