How to Have a Great Life: Wisdom from a 90 Year Old
What wisdom does a 90-year-old possess the rest of us wish we had, but don’t?
God willing, many of us will find out someday, but my mother-in-law knows now. We celebrated her 90thbirthday this weekend.
In honor of her birthday, I asked what she wanted. Her answer was pretty similar to how I suspect I’ll want to celebrate 90 years of life when the time comes: Just family one day. Just friends, another.
Oh, and Mexican food, catered, please. And peach cobbler for dessert.
JP and I hosted family who flew from all over the United States to celebrate her big 9-0. After we’d eaten out fill of chips, salsa, and all things Mexican, we gathered in the family room where each family member shared one fond memory with Grandma and asked one question about Grandma, and her 90 years on planet earth.
Too many people know their family members but don’t really know their family members.
I didn’t want any of us to have regrets. To have unasked questions. To have unspoken words of affection.
Plus, it turns out you can learn a lot about living a long, full life if you ask a person who’s lived 90 years a few good questions.
Here are some of the best:
Q: What do you think has helped you stay mentally sharp? (She’s more like 60 than 90–no kidding).
A: Reading daily and staying active and involved with people.
Q: As they age, some people get crotchety, some don’t. What the difference?
A: Accept life as it comes (she’s buried two husbands and endured a leg amputation due to cancer) but stay positive.
Q: As you look back on 90 years, what advice would you give?
A: Enjoy each season of life. Each stage has its own joys and challenges. Focus on the joy of each season and don’t miss the good stuff.
Q: What’s one of your best memories?
A: Being baptized by my two sons–one on either side. (She became a Christian at the age of 83).
Q: How many boys did you kiss other than Grandpa?
A: That’s for me to know. But more than you think!
Do you have loved one who’s growing older?
Do you know their likes and dislikes? Their history? Their fondest memories? Their biggest heartaches? Their best advice?
If not, why not ask?
You don’t have to wait till they’re 90.
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