*Originally published 5/6/2014
Last night I saw a segment on the show 60 minutes, about aging. The story was about how people over ninety are the fastest growing demographic in America right now. The segment focused on a study being done to try to find a common thread between all of the people being studied, in order to find out what they are (or are not) doing to live so long- and with such strong mental faculties.
So far the study found that the most significant common threads were genes, exercise, and having an active social life.
When I was going to sleep last night I started thinking about all of that. I thought about my procrastination issues and lack of motivation. I also thought about how I let my introvert tendencies keep me from being more social. Then I thought what would my ninety year old self say to me now?
I fell asleep before I got my answer.
Cut to about an hour ago, I’m sipping my morning coffee and writing in my journal when I suddenly remembered my thought process that guided me to sleep last night. So I decided to meditate on the thought. What would my ninety year old self say to me now?
The first thing that came to mind was, “oh honey, stop taking everything so seriously.”
Despite the fact that I have a great sense of humour and don’t really believe in taking things too seriously, I understood what she meant.
Then she said something profound. She said, “you’ve been given this cup called life. It’s a beautiful, jewel-encrusted chalice. You spend all of your time admiring its beauty and being grateful for the cup you have been given, but you don’t use it enough. Sometimes you sip from it, but you are so careful to only fill it with substances that are as precious as the cup itself. But what you miss is that this cup is so special that whatever you put in it is going to taste sweet. Sure, you don’t want to put giardia infested water in it, which will make you sick. But don’t be so distracted by the beauty and magic of the cup that you forget to even drink from it. Don’t only fill it with what you think is worthy of being sipped from this cup. If you only admire the empty cup you won’t get to experience all of the wonderful flavors that the cup can bring out of what you put in it. So fill it up, gulp it, fill it again. Don’t be afraid to fervently clink your cup with others’ in jubilant toast to the occasion, to the drink, to the cup. This will only make your cup stronger. This cup was made to be drunk from… Life was meant to be lived.”
I guess that old broad knows what she’s talking about. I mean she did make it to 90.