Fall in love with yourself again
Dear Annie: I am 81 years old and a longtime reader of your advice column. I thought the message below might be useful to you and your readers somehow. It is certainly authentic. I received it as a link to click on. I couldn’t open it, but the sender, who is president of a local seniors group that has been keeping members entertained with all sorts of items in her daily email, kindly typed the test for me. It was Steve Job’s final essay before dying a billionaire at age 56. — Words of Wisdom
“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In some others’ eyes, my life is the epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, my wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to. At this moment, lying on my bed and recalling my life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in have paled and become meaningless in the face of my death.
“You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone bear your sickness for you. Material things lost can be found or replaced. But there is one thing that can never be found when it’s lost — Life. Whichever stage in life you are in right now, with time, you will face the day when the curtain comes down.
“Treasure love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well and cherish others. As we grow older, and hopefully wiser, we realize that a $300 or a $30 watch both tell the same time. You will realize that your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world. Whether you fly first class or economy, if the plane goes down — you go down with it.
“Therefore, I hope you realize, when you have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, who you chat with, laugh with, talk with, have sing songs with, talk about north-south-east-west or heaven and earth, that is true happiness! Don’t educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy. So when they grow up they will know the value of things and not the price. Eat your food as your medicine, otherwise you have to eat medicine as your food.
“The One who loves you will never leave you for another because, even if there are 100 reasons to give up, he or she will find a reason to hold on. There is a big difference between a human being and being human. Only a few really understand it. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, you have to manage!
“The six best doctors in the world are sunlight, rest, exercise, diet, self-confidence and friends. Maintain them in all stages and enjoy a healthy life.”
Dear Words of Wisdom: Thank you for passing these words along. Though it’s been disproven that Steve Jobs wrote this, its message is still important. I love the idea that we are loved when we are born and when we die and the point is to maintain and return to love while we are here and now.
Hold your family a little closer; cherish friends. Help those who are unable to help themselves, and always forgive yourself first so that you can forgive others. When we truly love ourselves, we able to love one another.
Use this time of quarantine to fall in love with yourself again. Journal, garden, pick up a new hobby, run, walk, hike, sing, dance, laugh, eat healthy foods and keep in touch with your friends and family on a daily basis. Whatever brings you joy each day, do it.
And if you are too sad, tired or anxious to engage in one of those activities, then let yourself be sad, tired or anxious. Because it is when we allow our feelings to be felt fully that we can move past those feelings and begin to feel better. Thank you for this realization.
Editor’s note: “Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book – featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.