Your Life Bag of Goodies
I visited my dear friend Iris last week. She’s doing exceptionally well. Iris lives on her own in her beautifully kept home, replete with numerous soft toys for company, plenty of good books to read and a heart that dwells only on the sunny-side. As always, I came away inspired. “I've had a good life” said Iris. “I hope I live to be a hundred.”
At 92, with nothing much to look forward to but getting older and frailer – here she was looking ahead with anticipation. Amazing! My husband and I were very impressed. Most people in their nineties would find life hard work. Not Iris. Iris is losing her memory. It can’t be easy. Iris is alone most of the time. She never complains. She has only two outings each week. She could dwell on what she doesn’t have. Instead she chooses to exult in what she does possess. She laughs about her losses. The memories she’s retained are all good ones. Growing older gracefully is a choice. Iris has made that choice.
We laughed a lot together, probably at least 20 times in 40 minutes. “You got to laugh” she said. She said it so many times that I had to bring that piece of wisdom home with me. It deems well to listen to a 92 year old who’s as content as Winnie the Pooh with his head stuck in a honey pot. Thank you Iris.
I reflected afterwards that we groom ourselves to become who we are when we are old. If I am grumpy as a young person – I will most likely be grumpy when I am old. What I do now matters. How I think matters. How I live matters and will shape my 92 year old self! If I live with joy in my twenties – I might still be smiling in my 9th decade.
I like to think that we all travel through life with a Life bag of goodies. A lot of those goodies have been accumulated through the years, starting from when we were little. We might carry hope and love, joy and peace. On the other hand, we might carry goodies that are baddies. Like anxiety and worry, unforgiveness and anger. We might carry bitterness, grudges, fear and sadness. We could carry embarrassment and guilt, shame and reproach. We might carry hatred and envy, greed and selfishness. We might carry impatience and indifference, boredom and inertia. Get the picture? Our life’s bag of goodies is formed out of what we put into it as we zoom at 100 kmph on life's highway or take a leisurely stroll through it's intricate paths.
Perhaps today might be a good day to take stock of what I have inside my bag of life’s goodies. I could remove some of its ugly contents and replace them with those that would serve me better.
I’d like my Life bag of Goodies to contain:
8. Loyalty and Faithfulness
9. Enjoyment of the Moment
10. The knowledge of God’s Love and Goodness
11. Love – deep, sincere, unconditional
12. Appreciation of beauty
13. Blessing others