“When people ask me why I seem so happy and find it so easy to laugh, I tell them my INNER CHILD is working overtime. That belief has been with me my entire adult life. Many times throughout the years different friends and relatives have remarked, ‘Lee, you’re the biggest kid I know. Aren’t you ever going to grow up?’”
They’re all dead now.
Today’s Brenda’s Blog was written by my amazing friend, Lee Moczygemba. In a few weeks Lee will be “just” 95-years-young and that kid, or inner child as she calls it, has influenced her thinking and perception of life for the better. Lee started her fourth career when she was just 89. She is a role model for us all. In celebration of Lee’s wise wonderful outlook on life, please read and share with your friends. xoxox, Brenda
Photography by Jennifer Denton
“I cannot believe I’ve been here so long. I cannot believe I have had such a great life! When people started asking me how I’ve managed to live this long, I tried to explain my way of thinking. First of all, my INNER CHILD has always been alive and active. I was blessed with a loving, optimistic father who introduced me to humor and storytelling. He taught me to love my life, love God, love people and to BELIEVE IN MYSELF.
‘My mother, a good woman—pronounced herself old at 60 and lived to age 98—was a total pessimist. I was not what she had in mind for a daughter. She did not know what to do with this child who was too loud, too full of fun, too optimistic. We had 75 years of conflict. I think she is responsible for me being so hard headed and determined.
“I was lucky to have a wonderful mentor from age 34 until my seventies. She taught me to “pick myself up, brush myself off, and get on with my life,” even when I was hurting deeply. “Mama” Dodge was a perfect role model for thinking young and never growing old. She lived to be 100 years young! She’s a testament to loving people, being a good, ACTIVE friend and that maintaining the “Attitude of Gratitude” is paramount for happiness.
My mantra is keep your mind on what you want and OFF of what you don’t want.
“Keep your INNER CHILD alive—always—with curiosity, inspiration, laughter, and learning. Most people don’t know they have 65% control of everything that happens to them in life and 100% control over how they choose to react. Therefore older people—who have learned to keep their sense of humor, think positively, remain ACTIVE and who GENUINELY care about other people—continue to learn and are interested in life in general. They’re truly “young at heart” forever and die young, even at 110!
“I was a late bloomer and didn’t blossom until I was (just) 50. My INNER CHILD was very much alive and clicking. I changed careers and became a professional speaker and trainer, traveling the world, motivating, inspiring, and making audiences laugh. Then at (just) 68, I retired… at my husband’s insistence.
I WAS MISERABLE!!
“Within two years I created a speakers’ bureau. Once again I learned a whole new skill set… reading, studying and educating myself about this new business. Even though I was no longer performing, I derived great pride and pleasure when one of my speakers awed the client and received a standing ovation. Then melanoma cancer struck and for a year and a half, I underwent nine surgeries to remove and rebuild a new nose. Afterwards I was (just) 89, but I’d lost the momentum and the zest to return to the fast pace and pressure required by the bureau. So I retired a third time.
“Being in the speakers’ bureau business brought a lot of “wannabe” speakers into my life, and I began coaching people who wanted to become professional speakers and discovered a huge thrill in my new profession. Three years ago I had a hip replacement and since then my beautiful career has gone from a gushing river to a gentle trickle. Occasionally I am asked to speak, usually on “Confidence,” and I still get a tremendous thrill!
My advice: Find what you LOVE to do, and keep doing it… as long as you possibly can.
“I now spend a lot of time with my young (40’s – 80’s) friends going out to lunch, the movies, and theatre. I use a walker, but I’m still driving. I haven’t knocked down any mailboxes yet! I’m writing a book and am gradually getting my affairs in order… just in case I have an address change! My husband is now retired and life is more manageable and enjoyable than ever before. Compared to those seniors who are alert and active at 103 plus, I’m just a novice at this “mature” stage of my life!”