Never regret a day in your life: good days give happiness, bad days give experience, worst days give lessons, and best days give memories. Unknown
One of the gifts of being an “older woman” is learning to savor each and every day no matter what it brings. I’ve had my share of experience (bad days) and lessons (worst days), but mostly I’ve had good and best days that created memories and happiness. I’m a fortunate woman.
How we frame the days of our lives makes a difference in our overall peace and joy. Each day is a gift, unwrap it and enjoy.
Affirmation: I never regret a day in my life.
Coaching questions: How do you frame your bad and worst, good and best days? What helps you stay in the present and embrace each day as a gift.
If you’re like me, you—consciously or not—imbue your decorating, your cooking, and even your gardening with objects, recipes, and plants you associate with friends and family. Stephen Orr, Editor in Chief of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine
When I was polishing up the manuscript for my soon-to-be-published historical fiction, The Bootmaker’s Wife, I considered the plight of the pioneer housewife as she decided on the few things she would pack in her trunk and wedge into her covered wagon.
Over the years, what have you taken from home to home? In my gardening days, I always planted a Peace Rose because my first bush was given to me by my grandmother on my birthday (the variety was introduced the year of my birth). The walnut, cane-backed rocker that I was rocked in as a baby sits in my bedroom along with my dad’s walnut chest made from wood taken from the first Nebraska homestead. The ring that was my mother’s and grandmother’s is always on my hand. The angel that sat atop my first birthday cake is missing a hand but is still on display. My wooden rolling pin was my mother’s.
Mementos from the past grow more precious as I age. They are a conduit for intense feelings of love and connection.
Affirmation: I cherish the mementos of my life.
Coaching questions: Are you a person who goes overboard when it comes to hanging on to mementos? What would you leave behind and what would you take if you were about to embark on a journey in a covered wagon? What do you cherish from your past? Why?
So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.” Helen Keller
One of the daughters I interviewed for my book referred to her sudden mother-memories as “bubble-ups.” We all have them. Those sights, smells, songs, sayings that cause the bubbling up of a memory of a precious person in our life who is gone.
These bubble-ups frequently catch us off guard, surprising us with their power. Other bubble-ups are predictable like when the University of Nebraska football team takes the field, I can’t help but shed a tear…my dad is right there with me.
Affirmation: Memories are precious to me.
Coaching questions: What “bubble-ups” do you have? How do you handle them?
“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.” Abraham Lincoln
One of the few memories I have of my mother is the “coffee klatches” she and I attended in backyards on sunny summer mornings in Grand Island, Nebraska. Neighbor ladies congregated at ten, with kids in tow, to have a cup of coffee, enjoy each other’s companionship while taking a break from housework.
What a lovely, lost tradition. It was late 1940’s to early 1950’s when we talked with each other face to face and lived at a slower pace. I “took care of” the younger kids. I was eight or younger but I was the big kid that pulled red wagons and tossed balls.
Affirmation: Memories are precious.
Coaching question/request: What’s a small, early memory of another time that is precious to you? Sit with your memory, allow yourself to float back to that time and place; soak in the moment.
Forgetfulness is a form of freedom. Kahlil Gibran,Lebanese writer
How often do we say, “I forgot….the keys, the sweater, the birthday, a name, a phone number?”For most of us of a certain age, some forgetfulness is routine. But what about those whose lives are slipping away, those who have passed up simple forgetfulness and are living in a foreign world, one without memories?
As I interviewed daughters for my book on mother loss, I found it particularly heartbreaking talking with those who are losing their mothers to Alzheimer’s disease. One woman said, “My mother is lost to me but not gone.” This mother had forgotten her daughter and everyone else important to her yet she was alive and may live for many more years. One daughter’s story exemplified Gibran’s quote. She said, “My mother used to have great anxiety and worry. As a result, she was often angry and depressed. Now, because of her dementia, she is free of worry and is experiencing joy.” Of course, this daughter knows her mother’s situation will worsen but, in the meantime, she is embracing the moment.
Perhaps you have lost or are losing your mother (or someone else you love) to this terrible disease. I can’t imagine what pain you’re experiencing but I can stand beside you and support you through it.
Affirmation: I’m grateful that my brain is alive and well.
Coaching questions: What does your ability to think, remember, reason mean to you? What can you do to support those who are affected by Alzheimer’s?
So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good. Helen Keller
A woman I spoke with who had lost her mother years ago called her sudden memories of her mother “bubble-ups.” One bubble-up for her was, “My mother had many friends, sometimes I wonder where they were after she died.” One of my bubble-ups is when the University of Nebraska football team takes the field. In that moment, I can’t help but shed a tear because I feel the presence of my beloved dad.
We are frequently blind-sighted by our bubble-ups. A memory suddenly assails us and brings tears, anger, or guilt. Be patient with yourself as the memory comes and goes. “Tis the season for bubble-ups.
Affirmation: I accept my memories as they come.
Coaching questions: What “bubble-ups” have you experienced? How have you handled them? If necessary, reframe them from annoying to precious.
What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce. Karl Lagerfeld, Creative Director of the fashion houses Chanel and Fendi
Although I live in southwest Florida where the temperature is still ninety degrees, it is beginning to feel like fall. For me, summer ended when I left Illinois where I enjoyed playdates with grandkids, lunches with daughters, and special family events like weddings and a graduation.
Above my desk is a large, wall bulletin board placed there by the original owners. On it I have my summer memories which I can relive in the blink of an eye. As Mr. Lagerfeld says, these photos capture a never-to-be-repeated moment but can be relived over and over in my memory. What photos do you have that help you relive special moments in your life?
Affirmation: I treasure my memories.
Coaching request: Get out an old family photo album or print out some recent photos from your phone. Enjoy the moments that were captured and acknowledge your past.
Every human being must find his own way to cope with severe loss, and the only job of a true friend is to facilitate whatever method he chooses. Caleb Carr, American military historian and author
Yesterday, at John McCain’s memorial service in Arizona, former Vice President Joe Biden, who has known considerable personal loss, comforted the McCain family and friends by saying, “When a memory comes to mind and a smile crosses your face before a tear comes to your eye, you know you are healing.”
Biden was assuring the gathered mourners that there is hope for recovery from their heart-breaking loss. His words comfort us all. Sometimes memories bring smiles AND tears. All our feelings are appropriate, of course, and we are fortunate if we have friends who honor our process.
Affirmation: I smile when I remember.
Coaching questions: Do memories of your mom bring smiles or tears? How do you measure your recovery progress? Acknowledge the friends who are/have supported you.
Never regret a day in your life: good days give happiness, bad days give experience, worst days give lessons, and best days give memories. As seen on Facebook
The older I am, the less I regret any day. I can sense my days slipping away and I want to savor each and every one no matter what they bring. I’ve had my share of experience and lessons but mostly I’ve experienced days that created memories and happiness. I’m a fortunate woman.
How we frame the days of our lives…bad equals experience, worst equals lessons….makes a difference in our overall peace and joy. Each day is a gift, enjoy.
Affirmation: I never regret a day in my life.
Coaching questions: How do you frame your bad and worst, good and best days? What helps you stay in the present and embrace each day as a gift?
A beautiful morning on Barfield Bay, Marco Island, Florida.
Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It’s transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, years back, to the very moment certain things happened in your life. It’s up-lifting. It’s encouraging. It’s strengthening. Aretha Franklin, American singer and songwriter, the Queen of Soul.
If we’re ever caught off guard and suddenly brought back to grief, a certain song is frequently the culprit. I was too young when my mother died for certain songs to be a trigger. Although I remember that my parents loved the album, My Funny Valentine.
I do have a grief trigger song for my former husband, Keith, who died ten months after we were married. Our wedding song, The Prayer, was released March, 1999, our wedding was in October. We played the version sung by Andre Bocelli and Celion Dion…. “Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace, to a place where we’ll be safe.” Nearly twenty years later, this song still elicits happy as well as sad memories. Music, like smell, is a powerful memory stimulant.
Affirmation: I treasure my music memories.
Coaching questions: Are there songs that elicit memories of your loved ones? How do you respond when you hear them?