The National Today calendar tells me today is National Lobster Day. This reminds me of a video I saw recently about a lobster fisherwoman, Virginia Oliver.
Ms. Oliver lives in Maine. Along with her son, she fishes for lobsters three days a week from May through November. She first began fishing for lobster when she was a child, with her father.
It’s a nice family story, a tale of generations and traditions, the type of story that’s easy to enjoy. There’s more to it, however.
Ms. Oliver is 101 years old. Her son who fishes with her is 78.
If you ask her, Ms. Oliver makes it clear that she does what she does because she wants to, because it’s what makes her happy. Her response to the idea that she should stop? Laughter. Lobster fishing is hard work, sometimes dangerous, but she can’t imagine her life without it.
So yes, the story is about family and generations and traditions. It’s also about tenacity and perspective, with a little bit of good humor thrown in. It’s about not letting age define you, of paying less attention to the number of days behind or in front of you and more attention to the one you’re experiencing right now.
Living that way isn’t always easy and isn’t necessarily the right course of action in every situation. Still, it’s hard to argue with success.
Here’s to Ms. Oliver and her approach to life. May she have many more trips on the boat, out on the water, with her son by her side.