You know those times when you are feeling really crappy and down and old and feel like that gloomy, melancholy feeling will never end, then you quite unexpectedly come across something that immediately lifts your spirits, even if you don't want it to... yes, you're that low.
That's what happened to me a few minutes ago. I had let stuff get to me. I'd been crying off and on most of the day, feeling very melancholy and very, very, very sorry for myself. I just finished putting a beautiful banana cake in the oven and came in to check my Myspace messages and bulletins, and I received the following essay from my sister, Robin. Maybe I am just easily amused, but I cannot thank her enough.
Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. 'How old are you?''I'm four and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key .
You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. How old are you?' 'I'm gonna be 16!' You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16!
And then the greatest day of your life . . You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!
But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling.
What's wrong? What's changed? You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.
But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!
So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60. You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!
You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30 ; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; 'I Was JUST 92.
Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. 'I'm 100 and a half!' May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!
1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.
10.Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.