My Great Aunt Edith lived to be 96.
She died 7 years ago.
Until the very end, she got up every day.
She lived for more than a decade in senior housing.
She dressed herself.
She walked, or as my kids would say, she scuffled.
She gave, she listened, she loved.
She smiled at everyone who lived and worked in the center.
She didn’t enjoy everyone, but she showed compassion to everyone.
When I was down or overwhelmed, or stressed,
or when I have a challenging decision to make,
I think of her.
I once asked her how she manages her losses.
She said 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 work in organizations, I hear about alcoholism, abusive relationships, money worries, failed health, job problems.
Knowing, however, is different from doing. I know my aunt is right–managing stress is simple.
May you live to be vibrant at 96.
To give love and be loved by those around you.