Amanda on Kind Over Matter shared this video in her Friday’s Lovelies list this week. It’s described this way:
Shot in Fire Island, New York, this film (4min. 23 sec) captures the secrets of eternal youth as Maia Helles, a Russian ballet dancer turns 95 but still remains resolutely independent, healthy and as fit as a forty year old. Made by Julia Warr, artist and film maker met Maia on a plane 4 years ago and became utterly convinced by the benefits of her daily exercise routine, which Maia perfected, together with her Mother, over 60 years ago, long before exercise classes were ever invented. (2011)
The video never shows the ocean, but but the wind, sound, light, worn wood, and plant life make me sure Maia lives in a cottage by the beach. Maybe not within sight of it, but certainly within walking distance. If you added writing and reading, some long walks, and a few dogs and maybe a cat to this video, and it would be exactly the life I dream of for myself when I’m old and and possibly living alone (without another person, that is, dogs and/or cats are essential, so not truly “alone”).
Maia says at the end of the video “My secret to long life is simplicity, work, and enjoyment.” What is your secret to living fully, to having your best life? If you aren’t already “there,” if you don’t yet know, what one small thing can you do today to start the long walk into that dream? Do just one small thing, something simple, even if it’s just to identify what you want and allow yourself to daydream about it, identify it, name it and call it.
You and I, dear reader, deserve the best, a long and healthy and happy life. We are worthy, we deserve it, and we have permission (a duty?) to be our truest self, to live our best life. As the beautiful Mary Oliver, another glorious and brilliant older woman, asks in her poem The Summer Day: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?“