4 thoughts on living well – from paradise

I’m in paradise. In a Puerto Rican villa by the sea. Celebrating the twentieth wedding anniversary of Son Jeremy and DIL Denise. There are thirteen of us here — friends and family members — and making the decision to attend was part of my commitment to living well as a widow.


1 a3k-puertovilla


So what exactly does *living well* look like?

Obviously, the answer to that question will be as varied as the number of people with opinions on the topic. Here are a couple of thoughts from this memorable week of island living:

1. Celebrate people. While they’re still here. Because cancer isn’t the only thing that can take a loved one from us.

2. Acknowledge milestones.  I remember a young woman at the cancer center where I worked. After completing several weeks of daily radiation treatment, her husband presented her with graduation cap and gown, which she donned and wore triumphantly past the reception area and out the front door. Twenty years of marriage is an awesome achievement. So is completing daily radiation treatments.

3. Venture out. Get off the couch. Visit new locations, experience different cultures. Try new foods. Be amazed at the good-heartedness of people everywhere.

4. Meet new people; make new friends. I am the token mother-in-law with these twelve crazies this week in paradise.


1 a3k-puertotreehouse


And my life is richer because of it. I will more than likely see several of these young people again. Which I seriously look forward to. If I had not ventured out, I would not have had the opportunity to fall in love with them.

Jeremy and Denise eloped at age 18. Hubby and I had our concerns. Of course. Because they were so young. Because they were starting out married life with nothing.

As it turned out, their elopement was an indication of how they’ve lived these past twenty years. Persistent. Not afraid to take risks. Working hard to create the life they want. They now travel the world as photographers and children’s talent scouts.


1 a3k-puertoboard


So here’s what I think: Venture to new places. Take some risks. Meet new people; make new friends. And celebrate their accomplishments along the way.

Deciding to live well despite life’s circumstances takes a determined intention. And intention is more likely to stick if captured in words. So find paper and pen. Or pull up that app on your phone that lets you make lists.

From your place in life, what does it mean to live well? What are some of the words by which you want to live? Don’t forget to go back and read what you’ve written. Often.


7 doable tips for eating better


4 lessons we can learn from a cancer hero

1 Comment

  1. Deana

    Hey Marlys – I haven’t been posting as you’d probably tire of hearing me repeating my admiration, respect, enjoyment and awe of your writing, your journey, your heart and your spirit. Thank you for sharing it all. And belated Happy Birthday. Love you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2024 Marlys Johnson