IMG_3910One thing that I have observed from hanging out with a bunch of mature ladies at the resort pool (average age is 80) is that no one escapes hardship; however, you can choose to face it graciously.

We are all weak and struggling in this world. No one is exempt from bad times or pain and suffering. It comes to us all: rich or poor, bad or good, famous or obscure, man, woman or child.

Several of the women I swim with are widows, still adjusting to losing their husbands. One woman lost her business and is barely getting by. Another woman lost a child. Another is ill. Another suffers from great physical pain.

The lesson that these wonderful women, my friends whom I exercise with, have taught me is that they are resilient and grateful for life. They don’t complain, they merely inform. They share and laugh frequently at their misfortunes.

Everyone has had some sad or unfortunate occurrence at some time in their life. I knew this when I was young. I always thought that because I had a relatively easy and blissful childhood, that my grief would come in my adulthood.

I know that sounds silly, but I remember thinking this very clearly. When my father and son died within a year of each other, I saw the fulfillment of that premonition. No one escapes the hardships of life, but we can choose how to face them.

The women I encounter where I live are mostly positive thinkers, Christ followers, or products of the Great Depression and WWII who have learned to be grateful for small things. They have all suffered, but they also rejoice in every moment.

I wake up each morning and am grateful to God for giving me one more day to face the challenges and make a difference for someone. I rejoice in every moment.