Monday, October 05, 2009

Leannette, Age 107

The oldest woman I know turns 107 this week. Her name is Leannette, and she was a mere 106 when I met her two weeks ago at the Watermark, a Connecticut retirement community where I was giving a talk.

(In the photo above, which was taken that day, Leanette is the one sitting in the foreground.)

Although her teeth give her trouble and she’s hard of hearing, Leanette still knits, still gets around on her own two feet, and is still an active member of the Watermark.

What most impressed me about Leannette, though, is how forward thinking she is. When I asked the 50 or so women in the room to take 30 seconds to jot down as many things as they could think of that they'd still love to do in their lives, Leanette had the longest list.

I always say that dreaming is a wellness issue, and this women validates that. Just as eating well and exercising keep us healthy, so too do our dreams and goals.  They not only give us hope, but energize us to get out of bed in the morning.

No easy feat when you’re 107!

P.S.  Whatever your age, designing a life for yourself is the quintessential creative act.  If you've got 20 minutes to spare--especially if you're a writer or writer wannabe--I recommend that you watch this video of Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, speaking about creativity at a recent TED conference:


  1. That is awesome she still has so much she wants to do! Proverbs says "Without vision, the people perish." Obviously her dreams keep her going!

  2. I came to tears upon reading how Leaneete had the longest list! How is that some people just get stuck and feel they don't have anything to push towards? And then some, like Leanette, keep the juices of desire and vision flowing.

  3. This was so awesome, Prill! Leaneete gives me hope that no matter how old, you can absolutely still dream. Can't wait to find 20 minutes today and also watch the video.

    Thank you for sharing Leaneete with us!

    ~Barbara Techel
    Author of Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog
    Frankie is Official Mascot for National Disabled Pets Day, May 3rd

  4. Ole! Elizabeth....Thank you for such insight and humanness! worries on your "much anticipated follow-up " )

  5. Callie Hill10:42 PM

    Thank you Prill for posting this Elizabeth Gilbert video. I laughed, I cried, and when it was over my point of view as a writer had shifted to a remarkable, very comfortable place.

  6. That was an excellent video! I love the idea of a genie - we all have one - that we can listen to or not listen to - to inspire genius between us. Fascinating! Found you on blogcatalog. Really glad I stopped by to visit. Thank you!

  7. Hi Cheryl,

    Glad you found my blog. I love the video, too. My niece Katrina turned me on to it.


    P.S. Love your "thatgirlisfunny" blog!