Can you be 98 years old and still influence people around you? Yes, for sure! And I know someone very well who does just that, Aunt Hazel! My sister Joyce and I just returned from visiting Aunt Hazel in Salmon Arm, BC. Every time I visit her I leave feeling she has influenced me to become a better person.
Aunt Hazel lives in an assisted living building where dinners and activities are provided. She is always excited to attend these activities no matter what they are but she loves the music and dancing. Now I have to explain, Aunt Hazel has a compressed disc in her back, so she walks with a walker and very hunched over, but this does not stop her. Attitude adjustment to self: do I really have an excuse to not do something? Stop complaining and just enjoy it.
People in the home stop us and tell us how much they like Aunt Hazel. According to her, it’s easy; show interest in what other people are saying. Okay, I can do that.
We took Aunt Hazel out for dinner and because she is a little hard of hearing, we probably spoke a little louder than normal. Our table happened to be in the middle of the restaurant and Aunt Hazel was bubbling with happiness at being out for dinner. Now, she normally eats around 5 but our reservation wasn’t until 6 and the restaurant was busy so it was around 7 before our food arrived. This didn’t bother her in the least she was happy to be out and was totally interested in what Joyce and I have been up to. One of her questions was, “What has been the happiest thing that has happened to you so far this year?” This had both of us sitting back and thinking about all the happy events and there have been many. However, one tends to forget and sometimes concentrate on the bad. Note to Self: Ask myself on a regular basis what was my happiest event this week? This is much better than concentrating on the negative.
It comes time for dessert and our server was asking what Aunt Hazel would like and all of a sudden stopped and said she forgot but the man sitting at a table behind us had bought Aunt Hazel a dessert. The man had left so we couldn’t thank him but the impact he made on Aunt Hazel was fantastic. She was so thrilled that someone would do this kind gesture for her, but what she didn’t realize was somehow, through her conversation she had made an impact on this man.
Note to Self: you never know through your words or actions that you might be influencing. Also, if you notice someone doing something nice take time to tell him or her or thank them.
As I have said time and time again, life is our journey and every moment we have the choice of how we perceive this opportunity. Mom used to say; “We will die the same, so how do you want to live your life?” I want to be just like Aunt Hazel who at 98 years is still showing others that happiness is all about attitude and it is my choice.
“Life is our journey and every moment we have the choice of how we perceive this opportunity.”
Betty Anne Latrace-Henderson