Joan Erikson, the wife and collaborator of psychologist Erik Erikson, was noted for her zest for life until she died in her nineties. Her impact on others in her last years are recounted in A Walk on the Beach by Joan Anderson. The book summarizes her philosophy as:
Welcome each day like a good meal.
The essence of a life well digested comes from knowing your strengths, overdosing on the senses, and remaining active and playful.
Keep your hands on the plow – push – don’t ever stop pushing.
Always be willing to give a little more energy – the tension should always be there.
Then your life will never go limp.
Limpness is apt imagery for what we, in our book, called the doldrums.
“Overdosing the senses” may be the best prescription for quick relief. This is so simple, yet I often forget to use this strategy. Just listening to some good music or buying and arranging a bunch of flowers can make a huge difference to how I’m feeling.