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I live in a residence home for active seniors (as in citizens) in my grandmother’s basement. Glamorous, I know! I hope that when I’m 70 that they call me FABULOUSITY!
Things that I’ve learned:
1. You can still suffer from senioritis: Life will always imitate High School even when you’re a senior citizen. Cliques, bullying, and drama still exist in any controlled setting.
2. You can choose to be miserable or fabulous, or fabulously miserable.
3. You lose your filter and think that you’re allowed to say whatever you want.
4. Like my friend’s grandmother rustling for a candy in the middle of a serious scene at our dance performance and answering her cell phone loudly “Hello I can’t talk now I’m at the show!” Her grandmother said “Once you reach a certain age you can say and do whatever the hell you want!”
5. You can choose to live or wait to die.
I’ve noticed, though, that by “active seniors,” they weren’t kidding. Hip replacements aside these folks have busier lives than me and they’re having a blast while doing it.
I have also realized that you still have purpose even if you lose your spouse. They say that sometimes when death comes knocking and the person is holding on by a thread it’s almost as if they need permission to die from something or someone. Sometimes we also need permission to live. I know that a lot of people feel completely lost after losing their spouse and their whole existence shifts. It’s one of life’s most difficult struggles.
Once, in the grocery store, these two women around my Nana’s age bumped booties reaching for soup, and I said to them “You just had a fender bender.” One laughed and the other walked away. The woman who had laughed stopped me and told me that she liked my haircut. I don’t know how we went from haircuts to life purpose but we did. There I was standing in the soup aisle with a complete stranger discussing “purpose.” She said that her husband had passed away and he was her life and she had no purpose because her purpose was him. She struggled to keep on living and didn’t know if she ever would find happiness again. I told her that of course she had purpose! We all have purpose! She seemed relieved almost like I had given her permission to live and to find her own purpose without him. I told her that going and finding her new definition of happiness wasn’t to forget him but to honor him. I didn’t anticipate hugging a complete stranger in the middle of the soup aisle but I’m glad that I did. After I walked away I prayed that for that one second I made a difference in her life.
Every day is a gift! Be present! Unwrap that gift like it’s Christmas morning! Will you accept your present and open it or be afraid to see what’s inside?