Life Lessons – Quick Chat with an 85yr Old Psychotherapist

I met a retired psychotherapist when I recently visited the GP, and I left her thinking about my life and life decisions. 

She is in her 80s, and we can refer to her on this post as Ms. Betty. 

Ms. Betty started a conversation with me asking why I was at GP, and after I told her, I also asked why she was there; and from there we started speaking about life in general and health. 

I asked her what life lessons she had learnt and would like to share with me. And here are the things she mentioned:

  1. “Live while you can, and make sure to always balance life as much as you”. – She said this is because she worked so hard and said to herself that she would travel after retirement, all for her to have health challenges after retirement that make it impossible to live away from “home”.
  2. “Be selfish about yourself”. – She said she fell in love a few years into her marriage with another man and she didn’t dare to leave her marriage to pursue that love despite her gut feeling to. She and her husband had an arranged marriage but she still felt she needed to stick it through. She however regrets that decision because years down the line, her husband cheated with his colleague, and that made her regret letting the love of her life go. 
  3. “Remember yourself in the many roles of life”. – She said for the longest time, she was first a mother, a wife, and then Betty. – Now she says her kids hardly have time to see her because they all have their families and live out of town, her husband is late, and she doesn’t know how to be because she hadn’t invested in herself and friendships. 
  4. “Help people as much as you can”. – She says her favorite memories are those that involved her helping her clients and family get to an emotionally stable state. She gave several instances of those cases. She says those are what give meaning to her life whenever she thinks she hasn’t done enough.

My deduction from my chat with her is that I need to always think of myself first, yet think of others. I need to know that the only constant person in my life would be me, and that how I made others feel will always matter to me. And lastly, that time waits for no one, and life goes on regardless. 

Sharing this so you can make your deductions too.

Happy Weekend!

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