It’s the end of a week. Whew. I’m feeling a bit brain dead on this Friday, so I have no original content to share. However, I came across something earlier in the week that I posted on my Facebook page. I am sharing here because I just don’t want anyone to miss it. It is that good.
I’ve said before that I really like the author Elizabeth Gilbert. I’m a big fan of her latest book Big Magic. You may remember me talking about it HERE. However, after reading the following, I’m now an even bigger fan of Gilbert’s mom.
I hope you read, enjoy and agree with this as much as I do!
The following is taken from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Page:
Dear Ones –
This is a line my (73 year-old) mother said to me the other day, while she was issuing a gentle warning not to fall into the trap of letting your life get smaller as you get older.
She was talking about how frustrating she finds it that — somewhere around the age of 50 or 60 — she watched as so many of her peers stopped making goals and long-term plans for adventure and exploration in their lives. Instead, they began shutting down, and making their lives smaller, and their minds smaller, too. She got so weary of listening to them making self-deprecating jokes about how old they were, and how much their bodies hurt, and how bad their hearing and eyesight was getting… She felt they had surrendered to age far, far, far too soon. My mom said, “Nothing is more frustrating to me than listening to people who are still vital saying, ‘Well, at our age, you have to be careful…'”
No. She begs to differ. As you get older, there is no more time to be careful, and no more REASON to be careful — at least as my mom sees it. Instead, this is time to seize as much life and joy and adventure and learning and novelty as you possibly can. As my mom said, “I hate seeing people slide themselves into the grave far before their time. Death will come when it comes — but it’s crazy to sit around waiting for it. If you’re not dead yet, you’re not done yet.”
My mom thinks that everyone should have a five-year plan for their lives, and also a ten-year plan, and a twenty-year plan — and that every few years you have to revisit your plans to see if your goals and aspirations have changed…and that you should never stop making these plans, even as you age. (Especially as you age!) She has shared with me the travel she wants to do in the next 20 years, and work she wants to finish, the projects she wants to begin, the cultures she wants to explore, the people she wants to enjoy, her fitness goals…
I have heard people speak of their lives as if they were finished at 30, done at 40, washed up at 50, too late to start over at 60, no more chances at 70…
But are you still here?
Then you aren’t done yet.
Don’t make your life smaller as the years pass. If it’s time to start over, then it’s time to start over. If you aren’t where you planned to be, then it’s time to make a new plan.
Today, I ask you all to share the most inspiring stories you know (from your own life, or the lives of others) about people who refused to be done yet, because they aren’t dead yet.
Rise up, everyone, and keep rising.
We are still here. There is much to be done and enjoyed.
There are so many things I could say in support and joy at this wise woman’s words! If you know my story, you know that my father died at the same age as Gilbert’s mom, 73. My mom died at age 76. I lost my brother when he was only 51. Because of this I see every day of a life as such a wonderful gift.
Unfortunately, I feel like my dad allowed his world to get smaller. He allowed his health circumstances to dictate his life, and, I think allowed himself to stop growing. My mother, on the other hand, could so easily have allowed her circumstances to cripple her. She suffered from painful rheumatoid arthritis, severe macular degeneration, and some other issues that often limited what she was physically capable of doing. In her last couple of years she lost her husband and only son. However, her spirit, determination and will did not waver. She wanted to be able to use a computer so badly so she could google any and everything that came to her mind. She wanted to entertain all her friends in her home. She drove her scooter up and down the street to visit her neighbors. She wanted to be taken shopping, antiquing, to the farmers market, the grocery store, out to lunch, for margaritas, you name it. She had plans and continued making plans. In fact, when I left the hospital and entered her house immediately after her death, I found four boxes of goodies she had ordered. She was preparing for our annual beach trip with a new hat, stylish jeans and tops. She was looking forward and making plans for the trip. She was not done.
My brother was the perfect example of looking forward, making plans, and always being ready to start over. Regardless of what life dumped on him, he would laugh and dive right in. One of his favorite sayings was “You better get busy living or get busy dying”. He stayed busy truly living large until his very last day. His life inspires me to live each day to the fullest and appreciate it for the gift that it is. If he were here he would be making plans. Big plans.
What a great message and reminder to all of us! Keep making plans, starting over, setting goals and keeping the world large!
On another note, I am making the finishing touches on my first book and preparing to launch it here. To be honest, it’s only an ebook, but it’s been fun to pull together and teach myself the process! Keep your eye out! I hope it’s something that will be of interest and help to you!
What plans are you making? What projects do you have in mind? How are you keeping your world large?
Enjoy Your Day!