“At every phase in your life, look at your options. Please, do not select boring ones.”
Barbara Hillary, who shared that bit of advice for New School graduates in 2007, selected anything but boring options. As the first black woman to reach both the North and South poles, Ms. Hillary accomplished both feats in her 70s after deciding as a retired nurse that she wanted a little adventure in her life. She died on November 23, 2019 at the age of 88.
In other notable deaths, Clive James, a fixture in Britain as a literary critic and comic of unusually wide range, has died at 80. “If you don’t know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do,” Mr. James once said.
Both of the above from The Economist.
I have the above saved in my calendar and it pops up every 4 months. I have various other things that do the same to remind me how to be, how to act, how to live. To give thanks! I recently said to my kids Work Hard. Play Hard. But primarily give thanks. Be grateful. Have gratitude. We are truly blessed to be where we are, with those we have around us. There are so many other places we could be, most not as good as here. Yet, we aren’t happy. You can’t be happy all the time. In fact I remember reading that you shouldn’t go to extremes of happiness and sadness for lack of a better option but to be even keeled is the goal.
I think a lot of it is driven by the physical however. As I age and see limitations creeping up I’m also learning not to be limited. It may take more effort, exercise, mind work, conscious eating habits but life continues at the ripe old age of 54. But all those things affect the physical. In fact I believe everything is physical. All thoughts are physical, just cells working, mitochondria pumping, synapses jumping or doing whatever they do. And how we treat our bodies, inside and out will therefore have a direct effect on all those processes, which will have a direct effect on how we look and feel!