Someone who is loved a lot by me was turning 70. I didn’t want it to go unnoticed or un-celebrated; this was a time in ones life when you needed to celebrate! I had just finished a workshop at the 92nd Street Y on Positive Aging and I was well aware of people’s fears and concerns Ageism runs rampant in this country. I wanted to change this up for my loved one, so I offered to host their family in my home and celebrate together. They agreed and I was on!
It all began with Pinterest. I am new to pinterest. I began to peruse what they said for celebrating 70 years. It was appalling what I found online – It’s all-down hill from here, you are over the Hill, give up NOW! Really? When I present Positive Aging it exposes all of this mindset and how we have to change it. This is ageism at its best. Research has proven that the way we perceive aging has a lot to do with how we do age. Do we agree with all of the above statements or do we see it as a time to share our wisdom and experience, or a time to learn something new that we always wanted to do? We are being given a gift of an extra 20-30 more years of life than our ancestors. The question is what are we going to do with those years? If we build the base of eating well, sleeping well, exercising and meditating we have a better chance of moving into these years healthy and well which will help us continue to flourish.
There are many stories of people in the third part of life learning new activities, starting new companies, traveling the world, volunteering, sharing their wisdom through writing or mentoring others, doing something they always wanted to do but either didn’t have the time or encouragement to do so like dancing, learning a new language or instrument for example. It is very inspiring to look at these people rather than the ads on TV selling you fear and pills for every ache and pain. Take a look at Ellen Langers research study to see how what you believe can affect how you act and feel. There is a definite connection of mind and body, which we need to be aware of.
As I kept looking at pinterest a beautiful cake with a topper, which said, 70 Years Loved popped up on the screen. I knew I had to have that cake! 70 Years loved, how beautiful was that? Not 70 years OLD but loved for all of her giving to others, her kindness, her helping others. I found a place in china that could make the topper for me in time for the celebration. I figured out how to make the cake. Than I went on to collect all of the photos of her that I could to make a video of her life and ours together. It was so much fun to review the years. I laughed, I cried, I went awe many times as I reflected not only on her life but my own as well. What a wonderful thing to do. It opens your heart and allows you to savor the years, slow them down for a moment, and see all that you have done. I recommend this to everyone to take the time to actually look through your photos rather than losing them online and never seeing them again.
Everyone came to the celebration with love in their hearts and something to share, funny stories, anecdotes, poems, even a song that didn’t leave a dry eye in the house.
The weekend was filled with laughter and very loving moments that wove a golden thread through all of us bonding us together. I believe in celebrating the good times every moment you can get. I believe in sharing lots of love and laughter every chance you get. I believe in life and choosing to continue to learn, grow, and love as much as you can and than some more.
What a beautiful story and how wonderful of you to offer your home for such a special day! My mom and I are always talking about things that happened when I was a kid (I got lost at Jones Beach when I was a kid – I was curious about things even then) and my brother told my mom “don’t worry, we’ll get another one” or talk about her life when she was younger.