24 May What’s the secret to a longer life?
So here’s what prompted me to finally start a blog last year. I visited with the mother of one of my dad’s friends, and I just thought the world should know about her philosophy.
For almost forty years I’ve been going to her house for visits and cannot remember a time when she spoke ill of anyone – except when USC wasn’t doing well in football and the mess of the NBA lockout at that time. The conversation was always about me or my family. She’d ask so many questions to find out what was going on with our lives. She wanted to know about all of the good stuff going on and was thrilled to help celebrate. When there was bad stuff going on, she offered advice and searched for a way to make lemonade out of lemons. The only time she divulged stories about her life was when we took the time to ask. She always made us feel attended to and important.
She’s now 101 years old. And she’s still as sharp as a tack. She remembers details from The Depression through World War II through the daily goings on of the previous day. The only reason why she might get a little lost in the conversation is because her hearing is giving out, so she may not have completely heard what you were saying.
“What’s your secret?” I finally asked her. I was waiting for her to say something profound, like keep the clutter out of your life and head (her house never had clutter), or always focus on the positive, or put others before yourself. Instead she said…
“Chocolate. Dark chocolate.”
YES! As a chocoholic, I was thrilled to hear that. But I’m sure it also has something to do with good genes. And her positive mindset. She always looks for the silver lining in every situation. She doesn’t dwell on the negative. She doesn’t fret or beat herself up about what could have been. You can’t help but feel the goodness in life when you’re around her. All of the people around her feel it, and the only people she keeps around her are those who are also positive and full of goodness.
What’s around you in your life? Is it all full of goodness? Can you cut ties with the things, commitments, and people who don’t bring that goodness to your life?
Try axing one negative component that brings you down. And don’t forget to eat a piece of dark chocolate.