In surveys of over 1200 of the oldest Americans in the Legacy Project, one thing stands out. Although many of these elders have serious burdens of chronic disease, family problems, or economic difficulties, getting older has bestowed a special gift – gratefulness.
They told us they are especially thankful for small, pleasant things: a favorite song on the radio, the antics of a beloved dog, a brightly colored bird on the lawn in spring, the morning cup of coffee, being in a warm bed on a snowy night.
If you need help developing a spirit of gratefulness this Thanksgiving, let me share with you what the elders shared to the Legacy Project.
“Be grateful for every day you have. I’m serious about that. Just be grateful of every day you have and enjoy.”(Purnima, 81)
“It’s an everyday thing, because I like to be thankful, I like to be thankful for what I have and my good health. And the blessings that the Lord gives us from day to day we should be thankful for. And another thing is to try to live your life daily, one day at a time. Look ahead but still make the most of each day.” (Tanya, 79)
“Take time to replenish yourself – sleep, quiet time, music, reading, enjoying nature. It’s difficult to keep going when you are running on empty. Be grateful in your everyday life for the small stuff.” (Rudy, 84)
Please see additional shared elder wisdom of the Legacy Project at http://legacyproject.human.cornell.edu/2013/11/28/jane-90-on-gratitude-happy-thanksgiving/