A friend emailed this story to me a few days ago. I usually ignore these sort of sicky-sweet email offerings.
But I actually read this one. I needed to be jolted out of my whiny-hood.
This story helped:
A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly –even though he is legally blind — moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.*
After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready. As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window. ‘I love it,’ he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
‘Mr. Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait.’ ‘That doesn’t have anything to do with it,’ he 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. I already decided to love it.
‘It’s a 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, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
‘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. Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice is to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!’
Here’s what I got from this story: I gotta stop whining and gotta start storing thanks.
I don’t want to look back and remember everything that went wrong. I want to look back and recall all of the blessings.
And I’ve never thought of deciding ahead of time to accept what comes with thanks, but I believe that would be a welcomed change.
For everyone concerned…!
* Please note: picture credited to http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com/