Inspiration for the Week...

I received this little story from a friend via email and immediately thought of my Great Aunt Livy, pictured here with my girls. Aunt Livy will be 86 this August and is still going strong....we made her sit in the wheelchair that afternoon simply because we had been walking all over downtown Chattanooga and she was ornery enough to keep saying she didn't need that "darned old contraption on wheels". But given that we still had a couple hours of playing to do, we convinced her of it by saying the girls could sit in her lap! I hope this story inspires you!

...A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who, though legally blind, is fully dressed with his hair fashionably combed and face shaved perfectly each morning by eight o'clock, 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.

He continued, "Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is'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. You see, old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in. So my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories! And thank you, young lady, for your part in filling my memory bank because I am still depositing," he said.

With that, I leave you with the five simple rules to being happy: Free your heart from hatred, free your mind from worries, live simply, give more, and expect less.

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