Recently, Pop Sugar's Macy Williams wrote about her nonagenarian great-grandfather, known in the family as "Grandpa Cheese," and his life lessons we can all apply. Williams calls him an "inspirational man."
Grandpa, whose real name is Andy Anderson, is chock full of advice. After all, he's had quite the incredible life. He never went to college, but ended up being the national dairy manager for grocery store chain Safeway. He also was married for nearly 70 years -- until his wife passed away. He said it was love at first sight.
He's looking forward to his 100th birthday next May, which he hopes to spend with his family (while enjoying some hot buttered rum and brie cheese, he tells us). "I feel pretty good about getting older. I may be 99, but I am still learning and experiencing new things everyday. You never stop learning. Age is not just a number, it's a badge of all my life experiences," he told Huff/Post50 in an email.
The most important thing he's learned? "Family is precious. Family is the most influential element of your life from the moment you're born until the moment you die. Your family shapes who you are as a person." Beautiful.
Here's Grandpa Cheese's full list of 25 life sessions, as told to PopSugar:
- Always maintain a good sense of humor.
- Never be too good to start at the bottom.
- Exercise every single day, even when you don't feel like it.
- Don't spend more money than you make.
- Drink orange juice every day.
- Love at first sight is not a fable.
- Having a bad job is better than having no job at all.
- Eat around the mold; don't go wasting food.
- Your family is the most precious thing you will ever have in life.
- Eat sausage every day — it worked for me.
- Your life is delicate, and if you neglect yourself, you'll spoil. That's what cheese taught me.
- Don't ever be afraid to be your true self.
- Everyone has too many clothes. Wear what you have and quit buying more.
- You must be able to forgive, even if it's difficult to do.
- Save your money now and spend it later.
- Love is not always easy; sometimes you have to work at it.
- Find something comical in every single situation.
- If you're faced with a problem, don't delay trying to figure it out. But if there's no way to figure it out, you have to forget about it.
- Make sure you're doing what you love; don't be afraid to follow those dreams you have for yourself.
- Education is important, but not necessary. Life can be an education in itself.
- Explore your world and stay curious.
- Try not to take yourself so seriously.
- My full name is William Bradford James Anderson, and my initials always remind me to ask myself, "Why be just anybody?"
- Have common sense. Think about the most reasonable answer to every situation. If you don't have common sense, you're a bust.
- Life is a gift that you must unwrap. It's up to you to determine if what's inside will lead you to happiness or dismay. You have the power to make that decision for yourself.
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25 Life Lessons We All Can Use, From a 99-Year-Old Very Wise Great Grandpa