Maria Jiló is a 92-year-old woman, tiny and so elegant, that every day at 8 am she is already fully dressed, well-coiffed and discreetly made up, despite her little vision.
Today she has moved into a nursing home: her husband, with whom she has lived for 70 years, died recently and there was no other solution.
After waiting patiently for 2 hours in the living room, she still gave a beautiful smile when the attendant came to say that her room was ready. As she maneuvered the walker toward the elevator, the attendant gave a description of her tiny room, including the flowered curtains that graced the window.
The lady interrupted her with the enthusiasm of a little girl who has just been given a puppy! “Oh, I love those curtains!”
Attendant: But “Maria Jiló”, you haven’t even seen your room yet. Wait one moment…
“This has nothing to do with it,” she replied, “Happiness is something you decide on principle. Whether or not I like my room doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged. It will depend on how I prepare my expectation. And I’ve already decided I’m gonna love it. It’s a decision I make every day when I wake up. You know, I can spend the whole day in bed, telling the difficulties I have in certain parts of my body that don’t work well… Or I can get out of bed thanking the other parts that still obey me.
“That simple?” – asks the attendant.
“Not so much; this is for those who have self-control and everyone can learn. It took some ‘training’ from me over the years, but it’s good to know that I can still direct my thoughts and choose my feelings accordingly.”
Calmly the lady continued:
“Every day is a gift, and as my eyes open, I will focus on the new day, but also the joyful memories that I kept for this time of life. Old age is like a bank account: you only withdraw what you keep. So my advice to you is to deposit a lot of joy and happiness in your Memories Account. And, by the way, thank you for this deposit of yours in my Memory Bank. As you can see, I still deposit and still believe that however complex life is, wise is the one who simplifies it.
Then she asked to write down:
“HOW TO STAY YOUNG“
- Leave out non-essential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about it.
- Keep your funny friends. Depressives try to help them, if you can.
- Always learn. Learn more about computers, arts, gardening, whatever. Do not let the brain become lazy.
‘A lazy mind is the German’s workshop.’ And the German’s name is Alzheimer’s!
- Appreciate the little things more. Enjoy more.
- Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you are out of breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with him/her!
- When the tears come. Hold on, suffer and overcome. The only person who stays with us our whole life is ourselves. LIVE while you are alive.
- Surround yourself with the things you love: family, animals, plants, hobbies, whatever.
- Take care of your health:
If it’s good, keep it.
If it’s unstable, improve it.
If you can’t improve it, get help.
- Don’t take guilty trips. Take a trip to the mall, to a different country, but NOT where there is guilt.
- Tell people that you love them, and that you love every opportunity to be with them.
And if you don’t send this to at least four people – who cares? There will only be four fewer people who will stop smiling when they see a message from you.
But if you can, at least share it with someone!
“One day you learn that true friendships continue to grow even over long distances. And what matters is not what you have in life, but who you have in life.”