Friday, January 29, 2016

Tip #3 Feel the love.

The Tip:
The Best Day of My Life So Far spirit is fun, friendly and feels like family, and can be felt every week at sites nationwide where we gather older adults and younger listeners around a table for an hour a week. I believe the best way to beat isolation for everyone, especially older adults, is to create and nourish genuine friendships by sharing life stories in a no-pressure, no-judgment environment. While the Best Day spirit is felt most strongly in person in our storytelling groups, it's a feeling and state of mind that you can easily experience from the comfort of your own home by reading our participants' stories and volunteers' reflections via social media. So, open your heart and fill it up with some L.O.V.E. and let it spill over naturally as you start a conversation with an older adult in your life. Don't overthink it. Just follow your heart.

The Moment:
Over the years, I have heard many different participants from different groups describe their Best Day groups as "family" - it makes me so happy every time I hear that. But Beatrice took my happiness to a whole new level when she said, "We are like a family. Or like a rainbow." I never thought of it that way before, but when I heard her say that, I thought, Wow, she's so right. That's precisely it. No matter who you are, where you come from, you are accepted, supported and valued here. I originally called the program a writing "class" when I started the first Best Day group. I didn't know I was actually starting a family.

The Story:
Beatrice Newkirk
Our Writing Class       

Our writing class is the place to see and be.  We do things together.  Everyone has a good time.  We listen to everyone’s stories.  Some are read out loud.  Some members talk about what they had written.  After everyone reads or tells their story, our pictures are taken.  We missed last week but we always make up what we missed.  Because of the storm, we were not here.  Everyone who comes to our class is from different places.  They come from different neighborhoods.  The stories I hear are very interesting.  We are like a family. Or like a rainbow.  To the writing class, I love all of you.  I miss everyone until the next meeting.