My great aunt passed away this month 2 weeks shy of her 96th birthday. It got me to thinking how she lived such a long and vibrant life. She lived in her home by herself until the end and was in good health!
Obviously this can partially be attributed to genetics. She was always active, and I don’t know what her eating habits were like but she was always lean. After talking with her friends and family at her funeral, the overriding impression was that she had many friends and lived life to the fullest and she had a smile on her face up until her last days.
She wrote hundreds of letters every year to everyone she knew and had many pen pals. She had coffee with people and had conversations about life. She talked to people in the grocery store line (it’s said that by the time she paid she was best friends with the 2 people in front of her and in back of her in any line!) She gave me advice on living far away from family and life and losses. She really showed that she was interested in people and that she cared.
Nowadays when people are at the grocery store everyone is on their phone or in their own little world. People go out for coffee together and everyone is on social media and not even talking to each other. We went to a major league baseball game last year. There were three people in their twenties sitting in front of us and I don’t even think they watched a minute of the game. They were too busy posting selfies of themselves at the game on instagram and Facebook.
You may have 500 friends on Facebook, but how many friends do you have that you could call and have a conversation with right now, or could meet up for coffee. These are the relationships we really need to nurture in our lives. The REAL relationships.
Social media has it’s advantages – keeping up with old friends or family that are out of town and that you don’t get to see – but if they are really worth keeping in touch with it is just as easy to make a call to catch up. When I left Facebook one of my good friends was mad at me and asked how we were going to keep in touch. I told her she had my number and she could give me a call anytime 🙂 We still keep in touch and our relationship is better because of it. If I was still on Facebook she would just be seeing the superficial tidbits I post instead of having an actual conversation.
Next time you’re on your phone or computer, look up. Is there an actual person that you could be talking to? Make the choice to foster real life relationships today. It could help bring joy and longevity to your life!