My great aunt will be 96 this month.
Her only child died last November.
He was in his seventies.My aunt is doing quite well.
She gets up every day.
She dresses herself.
She walks, or as my kids say, she scuffles.
She eats her meals in the senior center.
She gives. She listens. She loves.
She smiles at everyone who lives and works in the center.
She is alert.
She is vital.
She is not in denial.
When I am down, or overwhelmed or stressed,
or when I have a challenging decision to make,
I visit her.
I have asked her how she manages her losses.
She says managing stress is quite simple:
Life is not perfect.
Not everyone is kind, but everyone needs kindness.
Control what you can control (which is very little),
Let go of everything else.
Keep life’s routines. Get dressed. Exercise. Be spiritual.
Give love every day.
It always comes back.
When I teach stress management, I hear about alcoholism, abusive relationships, money worries, failed health, job problems.
I know my aunt is right–managing stress is simple.
Knowing, however, is different from doing.
May you live to be vibrant at 96,
To give love and be loved by those around you.