Changing Your Mind Can Change Your Life

A great story with a good message: A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and elderly woman moved into a nursing home. Though legally blind, the woman is always fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock in bright-colored clothes and makes sure that her hair is fashionably combed.

Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, the staff provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window.

“I love it!” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

The staff member replied “Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait.”

“I don’t have to see it to know I love it.” She replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged … it’s how I arrange my mind and I have already decided to love it. ”

The frail woman continued, “It’s the same as the decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, the losses I have experienced in my life, or get out of bed and be thankful for another day. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open. I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away. Just for this time in my life. ”

I love this story because it reminds me that life is short and to appreciate the time and the people I come into contact with every day.

Tips for choosing to enjoy your day:

  • Choose to let go of a past hurt. It’s baggage we choose to carry around and it’s heavy and can get in the way of joy.
  • Let go of worry. It gets in the way of appreciating the moment at hand and rarely changes the outcome.
  • Smile at people you come in contact with today, even if just in passing. Smiles can be very contagious.
  • Help someone else today. When we go beyond ourselves to help others it helps us to put our life in perspective.
  • Stop taking yourself so seriously. We can zap joy out of our lives and the lives of those around us when we forget to have fun.
  • Make sure to laugh today. Rent a funny movie, read a funny story or just start laughing for no reason (probably not in public or people will think you’re crazy…though that would be very funny). Laughing is very cathartic and is good for your health!

Have a nice day, unless you already have other plans.

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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