photo credit John Mark Smith


“I feel healthy, happy and terrific”. While at a celebration milestone birthday breakfast I asked the vibrant 90 year old about her secret. She thanked everyone for coming and made this announcement of her daily ritual. “Every morning before my feet hit the floor I say, I feel healthy, happy and terrific”. When asked how long she has been doing this she responded “as long as I can remember”. This woman always has a smile on her face- is always so very positive and dresses “to the nines” every day. She will be celebrating 62 years of marriage this year as well. Their love affair is storybook. They are often seen holding hands and beaming at one another.

There was another woman at the table. It was not a milestone birthday for her, she had hers 2 years ago! She is 92 , still lives in her own house , and she too is a “smart dresser”. She attends one of the book groups I attend, is quick witted and positive. A widow for almost half of her life, she still remains positive and says that she looks to the future with each day ahead of her. A teacher by profession, a mother a volunteer and friend to many.

photo credit John Felise

Then there was the 89 year old who drove a number of the women to the breakfast. I think of her as being quite “young”. She is vibrant, interesting AND interested in life in general. And yes, she too is super positive. Her home is welcoming and fresh and always open to both friends and family. It is an honor to share a part of her life.

Each of these women are fortunate to still live at home. They volunteer and are quite spiritual in their daily lives. Coincidence? I’m not sure- they come from different backgrounds, had different jobs in their working lives.

How lucky am I to be surrounded by such magnificent role models who greet each day with vigor and anticipation. “Once a day is gone, it’s gone. You can never get it back, so why not treat each day with a positive outlook. Be productive each day too.” I am still working on that…it has been a battle for as long as “I” can remember.

They are all from a different era than I so the dressing up each day is a bit different than how I grew up, and hold myself today. I am much more comfortable in jeans and a flannel shirt these days- whatever I can do to keep warm! They have a style that I just never seemed to have. But, it is nice to put on some nice things and feel a little good about yourself!

Oh, by the way- I didn’t mention the 93 year old man who still lives in his own home- has a quick wit and is often cracking jokes. When he was younger, perhaps 75, he volunteered at the school and my son learned to play chess with him. A sweet man indeed.

Words to live by, women to aspire to. Read some- well , maybe read a lot, dress up, feel proud and smile. Our world would be a much better place if we all listened to these women who have figured out just how to live each day of their lives with grace, curiosity and hopefulness.