A recent post, “Lessons from Mimi,” about inspiration from my mother-in-law, who passed away this year at 95, resulted in more feedback than most of my posts.

The notes I received were inspirational themselves and I am sharing excerpts from some of them here.

I am 69, and have been working out religiously for many years, and I don’t let up. I do wonder, at times, how long I might continue with this passion, and now I see that I will keep going on, as long as I can. 

Always enjoy reading your newsletters but this one in particular. As I age, I am realizing that I am more and more appreciative of my elders and the wisdom they have imparted over the years (though some of it I may only be appreciating now) ?

I shared your mother-in-law’s quote on procrastination with my family.

Your mother-in-law was right on with everything you wrote that she said. She seemed a very wise woman. You were fortunate to have her in your life as long as you did.

Mimi was a lifelong learner, something I didn’t write about. This reader hit on that subject (in addition to exercise) in a big way… Wonderful reminders! My daily exercise includes online classes from the library, the websites Senior Planet or AARP Silversneakers and water aerobics. Weekday classes at Quest, the CUNY program for retired professionals, includes museum visits and guest speakers. So far I have opted for attending on Zoom although attending in person is now an option. My town’s library has monthly Foreign Policy Association programs and a book club discussion group. Other local libraries have programs and book clubs. Reserving books is easy. I have an endless supply of reading material and access to newspapers. magazines and films.

Thank you so much for this timely email. My husband and I have sorting this with his mom, who was recently hospitalized and is now in a rehab to exercise and strengthen and, in her mind, get back to where she was – I’m inspired by her (and your Mimi’s) tenacity. She wants to exercise even when the physical therapy isn’t there working with her. And the question at the end, what am I doing for my own health? That’s the hardest, in the sandwich between caring for a child (now almost ten) and aging parents (my husband’s mom, and my dad who was hospitalized and had to do weeks and weeks of rehab to get back to walking, back in the spring). Little bits and pieces where I can. Walks in the middle of the day now that my son is back in school. I find that even folding laundry and putting it away gives me active credits on my day, walking from room to room, lifting things to hang, bending over to put in low drawers. Hikes with the family on weekends. Just plain staying active, not sitting at my desk all day! But now I think Mimi should inspire me with her routine which, as Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s, seems more intense than my own.

I was extremely happy to receive these notes and look forward to continuing to receive notes from readers. Please reach out any time. I love hearing from you.

Be well,


p.s. If you did not read the original post about Mimi, you can read it here.