I pushed through the door of the cardio movie room and out into the gym. An elderly woman asked me, “What are they doing in there?” “They are buffing the floor,” I answered. “Can we still workout in there?” she followed. I replied, “There’s still one girl in there. I guess you could ask them.”
I don’t usually engage in conversation with people in the gym. But, I didn’t have earbuds in and the woman kept talking. As we worked out on a circular set of arm and leg equipment, she told me she liked my shirt. It is a simple grey t-shirt that says, “Do what makes you happy.” “That’s why I come to the gym,” she said. “I’m 83 years old. A lot of my friends just want to sit around and do nothing.” “Good for you,” I offered. “That’s awesome.” She asked me what I was doing. I didn’t understand. I was lifting a bar above my head. Finally I understood what she meant. How many pounds was I lifting?
“Oh, 40 lbs. I’m not strong,” I said. She continued to chat. “I put it on 4 too, but I can’t do many,” she offered. Not my thing, but she was a nice woman and wanted to talk. She was with her son or grandson. It was hard to tell. He was probably 40 years old. He’d had a stroke, or maybe a closed head injury. It was hard for him to lift his legs to walk. He chatted too. He told me where he usually works out. She told me she wanted him to see “our” gym. They were really quite lovely folks. It changed my day for the better to talk with them. They were doing what made them happy. It was obvious they are people who see the glass as half full. We aren’t promised good health or even tomorrow. They were enjoying life.
Earlier that day I’d eaten lunch with Breezy in the school cafeteria. She and her 3rd grade friends got my phone and started taking videos of themselves holding their breath. They show the videos back and laughed and laughed. They were doing what made them happy. They were excited about the afternoon. They all had tickets, earned for good conduct. They were taking their tickets to a fair or carnival of sorts in the gym. They were going to buy drinks, candy, popcorn, etc. with their tickets. After that, they were going back to the classroom to watch “Ice Age.” It was going to be a very happy time.
Earlier this year when I was wearing the “Do what makes you happy” t-shirt, Breezy asked me, “Gigi, what makes you happy?” “You,” I responded. “And what else?” “Your sister,” I replied. “And what else?” She asked, “And what else?” over and over as I told her about people and things that make me happy. It was a precious conversation. I was flattered that an eight-year-old honestly cared what makes me happy. She is an amazingly thoughtful little girl.
But, of course, if you read my blog from time to time, you know that spending time with Breezy is the number one thing in life that makes me happy. I try to spend as much time as I am afforded with this adorable and cherished creature.
Do what makes you happy. Life is short. It goes by in the blink of an eye. Don’t waste it doing things that bring you down, or with people who don’t have your best interest at heart. Get out there and live the life you’ve been given. Do what makes you happy, and be happy. I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more. (Mother Teresa)