Turquoise Runs Rings Around Resilience
Posted by Dr. Judy at 3:00 am
Has your life ever been hi-jacked? Let me tell you a true story.
It began 4 years ago. How would you feel if this happened to you?
What if you were 89 years old and in one fell swoop lost your identity
as you had known it? You were whisked off to an assisted living center,
your broken ankle in a cast, your butt in a wheelchair, and deaf because
no one remembered to bring along your cochlear implant? Your daughter
is desperately trying to get a plane flight to come and look after you.
Shockingly quick, within a matter of days per your wishes, your house is
sold for a low ball price. You will never see the home you designed and
built 50 years ago. No saying good-bye to your possessions. Never get to
water your precious plants in your beloved greenhouse. No one last time.
Tough to swallow, but at least you rationalize your house was sold. That’s
how fast life locked the door to my Mom’s reality.
Resilience. Pluck. Awareness and acceptance. They all took time.
But her 90th birthday surprise a month later really perked her up.
Connections. Belonging. Tenacity to heal. Petting her sweet Scottie
dog, Katie, once in awhile, made life worth living again. As you know,
Mom is now 93, out of assisted living, and as she put it, “Living like a
princess, no make that a queen!” at Cathy and Bill’s home in Delaware.
She’s the one with two dogs in her lap with 3 larger pups vying for attention.
But one small detail was lacking, not that Mom would ever complain.
Mom’s hands have been knotted and swollen by arthritis for years.
She missed wearing a ring, but she didn’t want me to buy her new ones nor
to have her rings sized larger. But one day a few months ago, she was
philosophically saying she did miss wearing a ring, but she knew none would fit.
You know me; I had a light bulb moment. On my next flight home, I took all
her rings. I also went to an antique shop and bought 3 I thought might fit.
Full of hope, off to Delaware I flew, rings tucked safely in my purse along
with the whole top tray of her old jewelry box.
To see Mom’s face light up when she saw those rings was worth a million bucks.
With vigor and hope in her heart, she delightedly tried on every one. To her
surprise, several fit. Talk about joy! I was praying her 30 year old watch would
work, too, if I could find a battery. Eureka! I lucked out. That old turquoise
time piece kindly began tick-tocking away.
I am in my 6th decade, and it never ceases to amaze me how every time I
visit Mom, I learn something new about life. To savor. To let go of regrets.
To look for the good. To appreciate EVERYTHING! Mom is the poster girl
for living positive psychology and living her best life now.
Turquoise blue like the azure seas of the Pacific…I look down upon this beauty
ever day from our jungle perch here in Puerto Vallarta. Everyday I think of
Mom wearing her rings and watch.
What has been your toughest life challenge?
Which strengths became your life preserver?
Which ones plastered a smile upon your face again?
Courage, love of learning, forgiveness? What else?
No matter what, you have 24 strengths to choose from everyday to feather
your nest. Time to soar to new heights. Just like Mom.Did you remember
I wrote a strengths book dedicated to her?
Want to review your strengths and see how to make them work for you?
You can see fun and picturesque 2-page stories in my new book.
Click here to take a peek!
I’d love to hear from you!
Just send me your questions, and I will answer in a future blog.
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