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Ich Hatte Das by Connie Mason Michaelis

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging

Years ago when I was working in a Senior community, I met a delightful lady and her family that were investigating retirement living. The conversation led to the topic of downsizing and dealing with years of stuff, which is usually a difficult topic. She explained to me that she thought she had a pretty healthy attitude about it. As I inquired more, she shared that in her family, there was an old German expression, ich hatte das, that simply meant, I’ve had that! I asked her if it was like, been there, done that, and she agreed. Her bottom line was she had already experienced a big house with lots of furniture, and she was ready to move on to what was next. So her attitude was, she’d already had that. She was prepared to live in a simpler, easier space. Wow, I was impressed!. This woman was looking forward to the next stage of life---no resistance to change. She wasn’t feeling deprived at all; instead, she was excited!

After picking my jaw off the table, I was scrambling to write this expression down. It should become the official Senior mantra---it certainly should be my mantra! Although there are many good reasons to downsize, including eliminating clutter, dispersion of heirlooms, and preserving family history, most Seniors feel they are losing their identity by leaving those things behind. This fantastic attitude that says I’ve had that, and now I’m moving on, sounds like liberation to me. Dr. Seuss said, “Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.” The wisdom that some Elders have is truly amazing, and it is a gift to share it!

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