Lessons Learned from Two Weeks in a Retirement Home


I just spent two weeks with my 95-year-old mother, in a retirement home. There I had plenty of time to ponder life and death.

I spoke to many people and came to the conclusion that the centenarians who are still enjoying life have a number of things in common. First of all, the ones I met all have a positive attitude about life. If you tell one it’s a beautiful day, they’ll reply, “Every day is a beautiful day.”

Secondly, they enjoy spending time with their families. One man, who just turned 100, described how he spend Father’s Day with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and how much it meant to him. His eyes lit up as he described the day to me.

And third, they make efforts. You can't suddenly start when you reach the age of 100. These are people who have been making efforts all their lives. Rather than surrendering helplessly to the infirmities of old age, they just keep on trying, without complaining

So I ask myself what am I doing to prepare myself for old age. Do I have to wait until I’m 100 to realize that every day is beautiful? Do I treasure the time I spend with my children and grandchildren? And am I making sufficient efforts to keep laziness and procrastination at bay?

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