My #1 New Year’s Resolution is to be more like Betty White, who said of herself: “Seriously, I’m the luckiest broad on two feet to be as healthy as I am and to feel as good as I do.”
I resolve to exercise more, take my calcium and vitamin D daily. I resolve to floss – not just brush – my teeth before bed every night. I resolve to live well, be well and stay healthy.
Betty died at home in her sleep, following a stroke, on the last day of 2021. She appeared to be in no hurry to depart this earthly world even though she exited just 17 days before the nationwide celebration for her 100th birthday. She will be remembered as a wit, an animal lover and a legacy builder by fans who loved and adulated her. “I had a crush on her too,” said Robert Redford, the Sundance Kid heart throb.
I first met Betty as the “Happy Homemaker” on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Like most women newly entering the workforce for the first time, I wanted to emulate perky, ambitious Mary, not the ditsy, slightly sardonic, man-crazy Sue Ann. Now that I’m retired, older and into living the moments, I’m more inspired by the real-life Betty White, who stayed sharp and relevant through her 70s, 80s and 90s. Quite an accomplishment for anyone. I’m in, all in.
Following a Facebook petition, Betty finally accepted Lorne Michaels’s invitation to host Saturday Night Live in 2010 with JAZ-Z as musical guest. Former SNL writer and cast member Seth Meyers recounted in a Tweet, that she was “the only SNL host I ever saw get a standing ovation at the after party. A party at which she ordered a vodka and a hotdog and stayed til the bitter end.”
In comparison, I’m more likely to show up late at a party and leave early as if I had a prior, more pressing obligation. Henceforth, I resolve to hang out longer, pass up the canapés, and eat more hotdogs (or brats that I prefer with mustard, sauerkraut and grilled onions,) drink a vodka or two (instead of the default Cab.) I may not be the life of the party, but I’ll live it up til the end. And I’ll do my best to follow Betty’s motto: “you’re never too old to be sassy.”
At the very least, that’s what I hope friends ad family will say when I pass – in the distant future. I’m in no rush to be cremated and have my ashes strewn over the Pacific Ocean waters. Rather, I fully resolve to take my time to depart.
I pledge to mark each day with moments of joy and gratitude:
Joy in my creativity and ability to express myself.
My gratitude for good health, for being able to hike 4.2 miles from Lands End to China Beach to watch the fishermen catch dungeness crabs, and finally loop back home, walking on the sunny side of the streets to stay warm.
My good fortune to live with purpose.