My whole life my Nonna has told me to enjoy my youth.
With her Italian accent, it sounds something like a song: “enjoy-a you-a youth.” She says it enough where it’s become a mantra. She says it so often we sing it back to her, but we change ‘youth’ to ‘now.’
You will never be younger than you are right now at this moment. Sit with that a bit. Stand with it some more. Take it for a dance, a drive, a walk around the block. Enjoy it now so that you may open your arms to aging when it comes knocking.
My mother urges me to stay in the moment, to not worry so much about tomorrow. She tells me to see the good in people and situations first. When I was younger I used to roll my eyes when she’d say that. I’d tell her that sometimes people are just bad. She’d tell me that people are just hurting. I’d tell her that I just wanted to yell, she’d remind me to listen. I’d urge her to let me wallow. She’d urge me to stand.
There will always be a mountain to hurdle, a problem to solve, something to ail you, the world, or those you love. But negativity grows when you feed it. Positivity does too. So why not choose the positive? Why not feed the good?
It’s easier to face what comes hurdling at you when you choose to see the goodness. It’s easier to enjoy what you have, rather than cry about what you do not. It’s easier to stand up after the tragedy when you know how to focus on feeding the joy.
The most important women in my life have taught me many things that have kept me afloat throughout my years, but there have been three that have remained constant—to enjoy the things you have, to see the good that’s all around, and to stand.
They taught me the power of perspective and choice.