I’d just moved in and my neighbours invited me to a surprise 90th Birthday party. So the first time I saw her I looked and thought ’I want to get to know you’. She was surrounded by people, laughing, enjoying a drop of wine, sharing her smiles and thoroughly enjoying being the centre of attention. Another amazing thing was that she didn’t seem her age at all, so what kept her young? Little bits about her were dropped into conversations, her interest in travel, living in the South of France in the 1960’s and 70’s and her belief in the value of family and friends. She was independent, spirited and yet so loved by so many people.
So I took a bit of time to get to know her, an afternoon tea, a walk in the local area with her, a theatre trip. She chose her friends well and whilst I was there for those times in her life, it was to other people that she turned to for help. I was just too busy getting on with being single, creating my own home, the first roof over my head that could not be taken away.
So the funeral comes around and listening to the chatter left me answering questions I had never dared ask myself.
How do you stay young?
She taught me to make friends with young people, join groups that will challenge you. This lady was never a wife or a mother though she was in groups for both and they gave her great satisfaction and support.
She enjoyed joining something new, meeting new people and enjoying life.
There is a lot of talk now about not acting your age, so try something new. You don’t have to be experienced in an area to be able to give something to others.
How do you attract new people?
A new face – fantastic, it may be a carer – that she had been forced to accept, she taught me to always remember that each new person in your life brings new interests to you, new stories and contacts.
So, take the time to listen and learn, be interested in others. It’s also a great way to challenge your brain as you absorb new information on people.
Always remember a detail about each person you meet, keep your brain active by doing this and make the other person feel special.
Share your smiles, they cost nothing and create an amazing eye contact bond.
What skill or achievement in your life amazes others?
Who would have thought that just by living in the South of France during the 1960’s and 70’s would become so much of a talking point and of interest to everyone you meet!
Something you take for granted now, could be your ‘amaze factor’ in the future.
Store each moment and memory, as one day it will be your chance to shine. Your story could one day be a metaphor travelling the world.
Do I live to my beliefs and morals?
My friend did and listening to all the kindness sent her way at her sending off, then I know it was a life of no regrets. She lived to her moral code.
Right, wrong, I believe, I trust, I’d do anything for, my duty is………
It could be your family, your friends, a happy outlook. There are some of these we don’t feel we choose and yet we know it’s the right thing to do.
For me it was looking after my Mum to the best of my ability, I didn’t always get it right though I know I always did the best I could.
Live to the high value of your beliefs and morals, no regrets if you always do your best.
My final questions are!
Will you ask yourself those questions?
What actions will you take to live a life with no regrets?
So what can an older friend teach you and will you take the time to learn before it’s too late?
Remember that good friends are the ones you can laugh and cry with and they are good for your body, mind, soul and your adrenal glands. They are also the best ones to keep you grounded, when you need it!