Maybe We Should All Be 85

This past weekend, I went to my cousin Rose’s 85th birthday party. In addition to her children (50s and 60s) and grandchildren (teens, 20s and 30s) and great grandchildren (still in diapers), many of the party goers were her siblings, friends and cousins who were 75 plus. Her 90 year old brother was also in attendance. In talking to the 80+ crowd, I was surprised at how upbeat they were. They were all aware of the current economic crisis but they were so happy to be alive and were simply looking forward to the next day, the next hug, the next meal and the next chance to watch their great grandchild laugh.

This unique perspective was just what I needed to adjust my outlook. Let’s take a second look at what is really important and enjoy what we have. I have read some stories about people who said that getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened to them because it allowed them the time to step back and take a hard look at their life. Many adjusted their life goals and consider themselves happier now. Is this the case for everybody? Clearly not.

But as I wrote some months back, I really believe our response to this economy is as much psychological as anything else. If we get caught up solely in the gloom and doom of what we read, we can become frozen. If on the other hand, we approach each day like Cousin Rose, well then, “life is good” and we’re ready to tackle anything.

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