Editor’s note: This post was first written when Betty turned 98. But death need not be the end of her influence. Though she has gone into the Great Googly Moogly, her spirit will continue to inspire.
Who among us has a sunnier disposition than the indomitable Betty White? She turned 98 last week, which is no surprise, given that she’s still a force in the entertainment industry. *
So what’s the secret to an existence like Betty’s? Research shows that optimism contributes to 11 to 15 percent longer life span, and to greater odds of living to the age of 85 or beyond. But White has exceeded that by more than a decade. To what does she attribute that extra oomph?
“I know it sounds corny, but I try to see the funny side and the upside, not the downside” she said in a recent interview. That’s right, Betty knows it’s best to look at every situation, even the crappy ones, and at least get a laugh or two out of it. (Like her first marriage to a rural chicken farmer that lasted six months.) As Betty is proving, it’s not just optimism, it’s SuperOptimism that can propel you to the century mark in style.**
And while you’re at it, it never hurts to light a votive candle just in case.
*Guinness has awarded Betty the world record for longest TV career for an entertainer — 75 years (and counting).
**You’ll also find vodka, hot dogs and red licorice on Betty’s training table.
***Final note: Betty said she had no fear of death. Her mom taught her that,’It’s the one secret that we don’t know. Whenever she would lose somebody very close and very dear, she would always say, ‘Well, now he knows the secret.’ Now Betty knows the secret too!