Older and Wiser

“A paradox of old age is that older people have a greater sense of well-being than younger ones — not because they’re unreservedly blissful, but because they accept a mixture of happiness and sadness in their lives, and leverage this mixture when events come their way. They waste less time on anger, stress and worry.” -- John Leland

This year, two reporters from The New York Times shared stories of six people aged 85+ living in New York City throughout the year. The culminating story, “The Wisdom of the Aged,” sums up some of their most beautiful lessons and profound insights.

Here are three of my favorite quotes from the article:

“Your life goes so quick, all of the sudden I’m 90 years old. I remember when I was 13. I used to come home for lunch every day. And I was going down the hill and I said, Hey, I’m 13 years old already. And here I am, 90. It’s all right.”  -- Helen Moses
“Time is short, I know. No matter how much time I have I will laugh. The everyday activities I do will make myself happier. I prolong it by myself.” -- Ping Wong
“I know we are all limited, and at some point our work ends, but you don’t think about it. I don’t think about it. I just do, and I know if I do something that is good for humanity, there will be somebody else who will pick up from the point where I leave it. That’s normal. If we give up the possibility of paradise, then that would be very bad.” -- Jonas Mekas

You may also enjoy this humorous and tender video of lessons shared by elderly people from around the United States: The Secret to a Long Life. (I especially love the clip of the woman jumping on a trampoline with her great-grandson.)

Happy Sunday, all.