At 90, nearly ten years ago now, my Aunt invited me to visit her in Naples, Florida, and…on a whim, I did so.
It will always remain one of the most joyous weekends of my life.
I love my Aunt’s energy, her intelligence, her zest and love for life.
I was more in sync with her, within a half hour, than I’ve been with many of my relatives for a lifetime. We got each other. It was so easy being together – our conversation, our coming together, our spending time apart so each of us could rebuild, and then our coming back together. Our topics of conversation and shared interests.
We are family so maybe there is something genetic to it.
In The Simple Things magazine in April, they asked me to consult my future self for advice or counsel. (The Simple Things is a beautiful, uplifting magazine out of the U.K. that published an article of mine in December about Portland, Maine.)
The article asked me to close my eyes and imagine myself at 98.
I’ll imagine 99…and Georgia.
And this is what I’d say, at 99, to my 55 year-old self or 40 or 30 or 25 year-old self.
I wonder what would you say to yourself?
It’s admirable to be driven and accomplished, but please don’t push too hard. Slow down.
Don’t miss the good and the beautiful and the magical.
Because you’re working too much.
Or spending your time with people you’d never call friends. You’d never look up to. You’d never look back at, at 99, and say they improved you, they inspired you. They cared about you, the real you.
Don’t spend time on what doesn’t matter.
Worrying won't change the future. It will only dampen and rob you of today.
You need to make money…and an amount that is appropriate for the life you want to live, and we’re all different in that regard.
But be careful.
Don’t sell your soul to the devil….for money.
Be more creative.
Create the life that is right for you, one baby step at a time in the direction that is right for you until you wake up, miles down your road, and see you were indeed walking the right road for you.
The worst thing you can say of a woman (or man) is that she wasted too much time walking on the wrong road.
With effort, and creativity, put yourself out there to meet….THE…person who is going to point you in the right direction for you.
At 99, I’d say, I hope you had FUN in your life!!!!! Whatever fun is to you.
I hope you can sit and remember times when you had a blast, times that still make you laugh heartily at the remembrance.
I hope you were kind.
To yourself, to others.
I hope you shared your gifts with the world, gave what you had to offer.
I hope you understood that love truly is the answer, and I hope you’ve been madly, deeply, truly in love.
I hope you understood that we’re all entwined – there is room enough for all of us, abundance for all of us. We never need to, selfishly, try to take all for ourselves. “All” is so much bigger than we, mortals, can even comprehend. There is plenty for all of us.
Because, although it may not seem so when you’re 9 or 13, your time in this phase of your journey is short. It goes fast...especially when you become 40, 55, 90....
So take the time to have dinner together, listen and speak kindly to each other.
Get out in nature. Absorb its healing effects deep in your soul.
Have quiet and creative time.
Spend time coaching your children to become the best versions of themselves. Shoot to inspire them in a way that they can become all they can be.
Because they can be a lot.
Intentionally live your life so your legacy is precisely what you want to leave in your wake.
I hope my wake is ROBUST, FULL, WAVY….and leaves a trail long after I’ve passed by.