My mom just sent her kids an email that had some wordsGreat Grandmother Rachel Chambers Evans had written in 1982 (she was in her mid-80's at the time). I wanted to post it here so I could save it in a more permanent place and because I think it is very wise indeed!
"Forget your troubles. We think of our own age as being more perplexing, more troublesome than yesteryear. And yet, medical science is learning that more than any other factor, our own thinking is responsible for sickness and health. It is our response to modern stresses, and not the stresses themselves, that can lead to ulcers, heart disease, and other maladies. So it is that the advice of Robert Louis Stevenson, offered a century ago, is still a valid formula for health and happiness." (I think the following is what she quoted from Robert Louis Stevenson, but I'm not sure).
'Forget Your Troubles
(1) Make up your own mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.
(2) Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with the gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.
(3) Don't take yourself too seriously. Don't think that somehow you should be protected from misfortunes that befall others.
(4) You can't please everybody. Don't let criticism worry you.
(5) Don't let your neighbors set your standards. Be yourself.
(6) Do the things you enjoy doing, but stay out of debt.
(7) Don't borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than the actual ones.
(8) Since hate poisons the soul, do not, do not cherish enmities or grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.
(9) Have many interests. If you can't travel, read about new places.
(10) Don't hold postmortems. Don't spend your life brooding over sorrows and mistakes.
(11) Don't be one who never gets over things.
(12) Keep busy at something. A very busy person never has time to be unhappy.'
at the bottom she wrote, "I try to carry out this program." (Grandma Rachel Chambers Evans)
Mom also remembered this about Grandma Evans:
Grandma was always so cute and positive about life. I remember staying with her for a few days when I was sixteen. I made Jello one night for dinner. I remember her big blue eyes getting bigger and she exclaimed, "Janet, you made Jello!?!?" She was so impressed! I still laugh when I think about it! She always was in charge of her kitchen and never let my mother cook when Mom was growing up. I'm glad Mother didn't follow that particular example of Grandma, because we always got to cook and bake when I was growing up. From the time I was very young, I was baking cookies.
There is strength in remembering the lives of our ancestors. I can't wait to hear more stories like these as time goes on. :-)