10/17/16, “Life is short—buy the shoes”

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’ve had a good week. I’ve had a busy one, some big and small important moments, work, travel with my kids, a wedding in our family, and in the days before the wedding, some philosophical thoughts. And some funny things occurred to me, to share with you. And which were good realizations for myself. Talking to some friends in recent weeks were good wake up calls, about how we react to our parents and older relatives. And even how we react to small joys—–and big ones.

I love to go shopping with my daughters, when we’re in the same city, I often go out with three or even four of them (I have five daughters, as well as 4 sons). It’s fun to be with the girls, shopping is fun for us, and of course I get to hear their opinions. I already own some pretty clothes, and enough basics, and sometimes I fall for some silly item of clothing. (To complicate matters, three of my daughters work in fashion, so their opinions about what I buy are pretty strong about what I should and shouldn’t buy). I look at things in stores sometimes that are downright silly. Other things I’d enjoy wearing, and what I hear most often from them is “you don’t need that”. And most of the time, they’re right, I don’t. Most often, they’re right, and when I buy it anyway, sometimes it turns out to be a fashion mistake—-but sometimes I buy it anyway, and it turns out to be something I really love, and enjoy wearing (even if they hate it). And sometimes I don’t have the courage to go against their advice, and sneak back to the store later, and buy what they hated and I loved. And most of the time, I don’t regret it. Silly, maybe, or frivolous, or maybe something not very useful—-but if it makes me happy, what harm does it do? One of my good friends gave me a key chain last year with a tag on it that says, “Life is short—buy the shoes”. I keep it on my desk, because it’s a good reminder in life. You just can’t always be sensible, and maybe you don’t “need” whatever it is, but if you love it and it makes you happy, why not??? You’re not hurting anyone. Sometimes that key chain is good advice for life.

At some point in life, the tables turn, and we begin to scold our parents as they once scolded us. We tell them what they should and shouldn’t do, and expect them to be ‘sensible’ because they’re our parents. We forget that they’re people too, need to have fun, be frivolous, and not sensible all the time. I see examples of it constantly around me. And I think we need to rethink that. People need more than what they ‘need’ in their lives, they need fun, and love and happiness, and some foolishness too. How sad life would be without it. Even our parents don’t have to act like grown ups all the time, at whatever age.

When my children were young and I was divorced, they disapproved of everyone I dated, hated his hair, or his shoes, or his tee shirts or his kids. The bottom line was they figured I didn’t need a boyfriend (and in some cases, they were entirely right, but not always). And with 9 kids, that was a lot of disapproval to swim through. And long before that, when I was married, and having a baby almost every year, very few people thought it was a great idea, most people disapproved and what I heard most often was “ANOTHER one?” Who asked them? My family has been the greatest joy in my life, and I have no regrets about having so many children, they’re the best things I ever did. My children had the same response when I bought 2 Chihuahuas in the last 5 years, “You don’t NEED a dog, Mom.” No, I didn’t. But I cant begin to tell you how much I love those two silly dogs, how much I enjoy them, and how much joy they give me. Why not, 2 Chihuahuas? They keep me company now that the kids are grown up, and only one of my children still lives at home. But the automatic reaction is “You don’t need that”. But in fact, yes, I do. Very much in fact. They make me happy.

Several years ago, a good friend of mine was 87 years old, quite ill, and she very much wanted a dog. The obvious answer was that she was too old and too sick to have a dog, and it just didn’t make sense. Against family opinion, I gave her a Maltese for Christmas, she fell in love with the dog instantly, absolutely adored it and it adored her, and it was one of the best things I ever did. She lived for several more years, and the dog made her incredibly happy.

Why do we so easily believe that older people don’t need dogs, or boyfriends, or companionship in whatever form? Why should they have less happiness than we do? Why do we think our parents don’t need these things if they are older?

A friend just gave his 95 year old grandmother a dog for her birthday, which I think is not only a wonderful companion for her, but a fantastic message: It says you’re still young enough to have a dog, I expect you to live a lot more years and be here to enjoy it, not that you think they’re going to die any minute and a 95 year old doesn’t need a dog. Apparently, his grandmother is thrilled with it. What a great gift!

Tonight, I was speaking to a friend in her 50’s, and inquired about her mother who is 77. I asked how she was, and if her mother still had a man in her life, and the friend said “oh no, she doesn’t need that”. (The friend in question is happily married with 2 kids at a home and a full life). I then suggested maybe her mother might enjoy a dog, and she said “Oh she doesn’t need a dog”. There it was again. Why should her still very attractive, very lively mother NOT need a man in her life, a dog, or companionship in any form? We don’t cease to need those things, a shot of joy, or even some frivolity, at any age. In fact, I think older people need it more than we do, as their lives are less full than they used to be.

It really made me think about how quick we are to assume that our older parents or older friends don’t “need” the same things we do. How quick we are to assume, that they don’t need a companion, shouldn’t marry, have a dog or buy crazy shoes. Why NOT??

I think the message on that key chain on my desk is in fact very profound: “Life is short—buy the shoes”. In other words have some fun, have a romance, a girlfriend or a boyfriend, get married no matter how old you are if that’s what you want to do, get a dog even if you’re 95, buy silly shoes if they make you happy. In other words, LIVE, don’t stop living, no matter what age you are, don’t stop having fun, don’t let anyone tell you “You don’t need that”. Maybe you DO need that. And before we tell someone they don’t need that, we should think about it. The idea is to have joy in your life, enjoy the unexpected, and enjoy all the gifts life gives us…..no matter what anyone else thinks, or if they think you need it. YOU decide—-and let’s not be so quick to write old people off, they have as much right to joy in their life as anyone else—-we ALL need that. So what are you waiting for? Find a partner, have some fun, get married if you want to, get a dog, and buy the shoes, or the equivalent in your life!!

Have a great week, love, Danielle

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40 Comments so far
  1. Rob Scott October 17, 2016 10:00 am

    Amen, Danielle.

    The night before my surrogate father passed onward and upward he told me he wanted me to go out that night as it was a Friday night. I could see that he wished he could have gone with me. I knew he was in his final hours.

    The next night he waited for me to arrive at the hospital and I read to him and we had our final conversation. He passed several hours later while I held his hand.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iioBwO6vnEs

    It felt very sacred and I left the body and hospital behind feeling empowered because he was all about hope and life. I was fortunate I had a good Chaplain to help me the following day when I returned to pick up his belongings.

    I think life is very sacred. Perhaps we need to look for things to be grateful for and feed the wolf of Hope.

    Thank you for the pearls of hope and wisdom you give.

    Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL Mankind,

    Rob Scott
    Oaxaca, Mexico

  2. Genevieve October 17, 2016 10:33 am

    Chère Daniele !
    Quel incroyable hasard (mais est ce vraiment un hasard) !
    J’ai 57 ans et mon mari 54, et nous commençons un nouveau job la semaine prochaine avec une dame de 92 ans qui n’a pas de famille et dont nous allons être les “bâtons de vieillesse” et devinez quoi ?!?!! Elle attend avec impatience notre arrivée parce qu’elle voudrait un petit chien ! Et bien sûr nous allons faire en sorte que son souhait se réalise !
    C’est une bonne piqûre de rappel votre message d’aujourd’hui !
    Et je vous remercie encore et encore pour ce blog qui illumine régulièrement mon lundi soir !
    Avec toute mon affection. Genevieve

  3. Marguerite October 17, 2016 2:43 pm

    So true!

    Age is just a number.

    Kick up your heels, buy the shoes, enjoy good food, wine, and interesting companions and never stop being curious.

    Life is the dancer and you are the dance – enjoy the music of life!

  4. Jay October 17, 2016 8:13 pm

    Hi, Miss Danielle!!! How are you? I think this one reads like a great story… I do enjoy being single, and all good times with friends. Thank you so much, and my warmest regards. 🙂

  5. A.B. October 17, 2016 11:26 pm

    What about the wedding!? Danielle you can’t do this to us! How was it? Did you eat a lot? Was the cake good? The dress the shoes… details details. What did you wear!?

  6. Keyla Marques October 18, 2016 4:28 am

    ALWAYS the right words.
    I dont think we need someone else to be happy, first of all we all should learn to be happy by ourselves, then have someone to be a part of it. I dont want someone to complete me, I want an overflow (dont know how to write this sentence properly, sorry)

  7. TERESA CUNHA October 18, 2016 12:59 pm

    Hi Danielle!

    This post is packed full with such great advice, thank you for that!.
    The “don’t need that” is really annoying, isn’t it? And so contagious… How often do we caught ourselves saying it? Worse, we say it regarding our own life! I say we all should take a vow of letting the “don’t need that” exclusively for problems, hardships, fights, sad thoughts and such, those, for sure, we don’t need at all…
    God bless you!

    Teresa

  8. Janine Hewitt October 18, 2016 2:40 pm

    Dear Danielle,, this is one of my favorite blog messages of yours…I have tears thinking about a 95 yr old getting a puppy! Life can be hard sometimes,especially for the elderly. My soon to be 93 year old mother lives with us and I’m so happy to have her near ,sharing our joys, our home and yes, our dog! God Bless and thanks Danielle.

  9. Barbara erckman October 18, 2016 7:37 pm

    My friends grandfather remarried a few weeks ago at age 95! His family wanted to host a party for his birthday but he decided he would rather have a wedding. You are never too old to enjoy life.Vive l’amour!

    Barbara Erckman
    Chicago

  10. Renata Horvath October 20, 2016 5:07 am

    Dear Danielle,
    First of all apologize for my bad english, it’s not my native language (I live in Hungary). You’re my mother’s favorite author, and I read a lot of your books too. Now, my mother gave me your book about the life of Nick, His Bright Light. I want to tell you that I was impressed by the story and by Nick’s personality. I think you’re a fantastic person and a great mother, and Nick was a fantastic, unique and beautiful young man also. Despite the illness he was a lucky man, because he was surrounded by such a great family. He had a meaningful life, and he gave a lot of joy and love for his family and friends and all those who listened to his songs. I also listened to his songs on youtube and he was very, very talented! After reading your book, I feel as if I’ve known him. I feel he is close to me and I feel like I lost a good friend or my brother. I cried when I read his story. He now would be exactly the same age as me (I was also born on 1 May 1978 :-)). I wish he was still with us because the world is emptier without him. I wish you much happiness and continued success in your life and your family as well.
    With love, Renata

  11. Sherie Ann Petersn October 22, 2016 10:30 am

    Great post. If we don’t invest in what makes us happier, some of the gift of still being alive is wasted. My 88-year-old father remarried last year and it has improved his life. I am so glad that he is not wasting time being depressed.

  12. Lorraine October 25, 2016 5:19 am

    Dear Danielle,

    This is a great post! Especially in such a youth oriented world in which we live! Keep the posts and books coming! Thank you!

    Lorraine

  13. Sandi Williams October 27, 2016 5:55 am

    Thanks for this!!!🐕

  14. kim October 27, 2016 10:35 pm

    Danielle, What a great and uplifting post. This is so true and I could not agree more. I have a 99 year old grandmother who I just bought a beautiful new fall wardrobe for and she’s thrilled. I also got her a senior rescue cat a few years back and it was the light of her life. Her daughter (my aunt) says she needs none of this, but she does. She’s like a young girl still inside and these little things bring her joy. No one should be able to say what we no longer need. I think if you still get a little thrill out of these small joys then you still have a zest for life! Kim

  15. deeds October 29, 2016 5:02 pm

    This is my favorite of your blog posts…Life does go on until it ends and it is supposed to be livd EVERY day…Thank you for examining this and reminding us of this fact…Love that you gave your friend a Maltese…That is the way to live…every day…

  16. Jenny November 1, 2016 6:07 pm

    Thank you for such an excellent reminder to enjoy life no matter what age.
    My grandmother got a little dog to keep her company when she was 82 and she outlived her beloved “Precious” by two years. They were the best of friends. God Bless!

  17. Janet Sullivan November 4, 2016 7:36 am

    Very well said! I am 72 and would be lost without my malti-poo. I love books and have a very large library…including ALL of your books. The only thing missing is one of your books signed by you!

  18. Terry Davila November 4, 2016 7:45 am

    Love all of your books

  19. Cindy November 4, 2016 7:47 am

    Well spoken and so very true! I totally agree.

  20. juanita st john November 4, 2016 7:54 am

    HI DANIELLE
    THIS IS SO TRUE AS HUMANS WE ARE QUICK TO SAY THOSE WORDS AND NOT EVEN THINK THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS I HAVE ALL YOUR BOOKS IN HARD BACK AND REALLY LOVE THEM YOU SEEM LIKE IT WOULD BE A HONOR TO KNOW YOU THANK YOU FOR SHARING PART OF YOUR LIFE WITH US JUANITA

  21. Sandy November 4, 2016 7:55 am

    Thank you for sharing, I love it, how true is to do what you feel and how small details change people’s life. Love your books, I live in Bolivia, South America. Blessings for you!!!!

  22. Linda Orawsky November 4, 2016 8:01 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more. My four children are like that sometimes. I have two grown daughters and Irish twin boys. The boys wante me to buy the girls are more to say you reall don’t need it mom. I love to have a dog I’m 66 and my husband 70 I’d be one to take care of it and that would be fine! I’ve read every book you have written and love everyone. My son Freddie my youngest he’s 35 bought me my IPad for a Mother’s Day gift and he uploads them for me! Take care and Keep shopping!! And I’ll do the same life is to short!! 👠👠

  23. MARY LOU TAPIA November 4, 2016 8:13 am

    Love you your books and your message ! And would love one day to have a opportunity to meet you and to have a signed book by you and one of my passion is knitting with fine yarn and your book’s ! Keep them coming I have most of your books lost have of my collection in a flood so now I buy audio just bought all of your resent one’s ! Love you !

  24. Edna nagle November 4, 2016 8:40 am

    Love the article -how true! My mom is 99 in assisted living medically healthy but has dementia somewhat. She stil can walk feed herself, go to bathroom but needs help with everything else. People ask why I visit her everyday when she doesn’t remember ( she cat remember anything more then 3min) 1. She’s my mom and had had a great set of parents and I love her very much
    2. In her own way I feel she knows I come everyday( she does know who I am)
    3. She likes company and people. Just because her memory is shot doesn’t mean she doesn’t get lonely.
    4. We go out every Wednesday to get her hair done and get ice cream

    For me I jump on the shopping cart and ride it down the parking lot. It’s a blast especially if my daughter is with me cause she gets embarrassed lol.
    I ride my horse everyday. She has navicular and when I can’t ride her anymore will I get another horse? You bet!! (I’m 69) enemy if I have to use a credit card. Lol

  25. Cindy davide November 4, 2016 9:17 am

    I totally agree with you life is short so many bad things going on . You need to do what makes you happy. I love reading I read all your books now I reading Award.
    Your the best . Thanks

  26. Mary Lee Nichols November 4, 2016 9:47 am

    Thank you for encompassing and affirming everything I was just wondering about. Yes just LIVE ❤️️❤️️ And claim your right to have joy in your life. No matter what!

  27. Maribel November 4, 2016 9:58 am

    Danyelle you are so right. God bless you and your children .I always wanted a big family but did not happened . I have 2 dogs which everyone told me I did not needed them but I have them anyway. Enjoy life like the key chain days

  28. maria luisa November 4, 2016 10:04 am

    I completely agree…no matter if you are young, if you are old…no matter what the others think you need….every one has the right to feel happy !

  29. Victoria November 4, 2016 10:48 am

    Oh why am I not surprised you would make me feel better?!??
    I am so tired of people telling me I don’t need a boyfriend or a husband anymore! I’m not dead yet! I could be here another 30 years! I Zumba , I travel , i work with the homeless, I volunteer and I have fun with my 22 and 24 yr old children !
    I am so lonely…why is it so awful to want to share my life with a man who loves me? I will never give up!
    Thank you Danielle- you always make life better

  30. Deb November 4, 2016 11:54 am

    About a year after I lost my husband very suddenly I made a list of the things I wanted in my next husband. A few “friends” told me that I didn’t need to remarry, I would be fine on my own. I assured them that they were right, I didn’t need to remarry but I wanted to. My prayers were answered three years later when I married a wonderful man and he was everything on my list and more..so I will eat the cookie and buy the shoes. Life is way too short to live it any other way!!!

  31. Barbara copeland November 4, 2016 12:20 pm

    You are so right. I am 74 and going strong. I should be able to have what I want and do what I want. Totally agree with you. Kids are too young to get it. Haha

  32. Mary Cottrell November 5, 2016 12:44 am

    Thank you so much for sharing . I really enjoyed this blog . I’m 69 years old and I know how you feel. We sometimes let our kids and even grandkids tell us what we need or don’t need .I know in their heart they mean well . I usually comprimize. Your books are wonderful , so , please keep writing .
    Linda Cottrell

  33. Mary Cottrell November 5, 2016 12:44 am

    Thank you so much for sharing . I really enjoyed this blog . I’m 69 years old and I know how you feel. We sometimes let our kids and even grandkids tell us what we need or don’t need .I know in their heart they mean well . I usually comprimize. Your books are wonderful , so , please keep writing .
    Linda Cottrell

  34. Alisa Mackman November 5, 2016 3:29 am

    My motto is “life is too short to be so serious, live well, love long & work hard. My daughter insists that if I feel I can’t walk away from something buy it, if you hesitate leave it as it will be an impulse buy & you will regret it later. She’s not been wrong yet. She is my personal shopper, she has good taste and her own style, wears corsets, bustle skirts, Japanese Lolita dresses. And her shoes of choice. Irregular Choice, of course. People with fertile minds seem most accepting of unusual choices and unconventional ideas. You’re never too old till you’re dead in my mind. Depressing but true! As for people saying the elderly doesn’t need pets, it’s been proven that it de-stresses people to have something to care for.xx

  35. Bettye Swanzy November 5, 2016 5:27 am

    I agree with you. While growing up my Dad was quick to say “you don’t need that”. That statement would only make me more determined to get it.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  36. Linda November 5, 2016 6:18 am

    That is so true let them enjoy life because life is too short and we not here forever!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Sharon Simpson November 5, 2016 6:51 am

    I love this point of view. I know first hand that life can change in the blink of an eye and believe that it is important for me or anybody else to live their best life everyday. Thank you for saying this so passionately and beautifully.

  38. Jana November 5, 2016 2:15 pm

    Very insiteful. Thank you

  39. Joan Davis November 5, 2016 10:54 pm

    Your a wonderful example of how to live life with joy&
    And work through your hardest times, which makes
    Life less scary and more joyful for me and and all yôur
    Devoted fans whose days and nights I you fill with comfort, & joy 🙂
    P.S please turn country into a beautiful movie. It deserves it , so sincerely, Joan Yasser Davis

  40. Bev Meyet December 3, 2016 6:07 am

    Thank you for writing this and sharing the note! I have always believed we should enjoy the fine silver, wear our nice jewelry , not leave in a box. Live life and be frivolous sometimes!!! You are such an amazing writer, I am a huge fan! Enjoy your holidays! Love, Bev