This is my tag line: Love Your Life Now.
With the cascade of changes, challenges, and new starts for women after 50, is it really possible to love your life now – every day- for the rest of your life? Or am I simply playing Pollyanna?
Let me tell you a story. Several years ago, my friend, Susan Sullivan, was dying from ovarian cancer. Susan struggled for several years with the disease that ultimately took her life. One day, at the end of her fourth brutal bout fighting it, she reached out and took my hand.
“You don’t have time for negative energy!” Susan said. “Why does it take cancer to see how blue the sky is? Love your life now!”
Those words changed my life.
Even though she was exhausted and in pain from chemotherapy and the disease, Susan continued to laugh and love life. Ever the college professor, she helped young doctors better understand ovarian cancer. Up until two weeks before she died, Susan presented herself, bald-headed but bodacious, to answer questions from medical students at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Her parting words to me were: “If I’m not afraid to die, you mustn’t be afraid to live.”
Pretty somber stuff. Those are words you never forget.
What does it mean to lovelife?
Our youth-centered culture blithely bandies about the term “love.” For me, loving life means an intimacy with life not found on the common plane
To love life means to savor, to fully engage, to take a big bite out of life and own it – all of it – the good, the bad, the ugly. Loving life means to recognize that from this moment forward, life will be a series of starting up or starting again – each and every day.
Some of what life brings will be joyful. Other times, life throws mean, nasty curve balls. Regardless, we can choose how we think about it. For me, loving life means tapping our inner resources, a positive mindset, a plan, and a circle of support from others. Loving life means knowing how to get energized and empowered all over again – whenever we need it.