“I guess some people direct their lives, but I kind of just let mine happen” – Yvonne Dowlen

I’m guessing the source of this quote is unfamiliar to you, but after today, she may just become an inspiration in your life, just as she is in my own.

They say you can’t just skate your way through your life, that you’re going to meet roadblocks and face hardships, and as true as that is, nothing will seem quite as awful if you’re doing what you love along the way.

Life is a balancing act.

Today we meet the radiant Yvonne Dowlen, a woman with a reminder to do what you love, and to never, ever, give up. She’d been ice skating competitively for over 50 years, and even at the age of 90, had no plans of stopping.

She has some wisdom that is vital for all of us, no matter where we are on our life’s journey.

Here’s the National Geographic Short Film Showcase with her story….

“What you do with your life and what you find enjoyable with your life is up to you” – Yvonne Dowlen

It may not as easy as lacing up a pair of skates for most of us to find the happiness we need.

But what if we’ve already found what we love? Do you remember what you did as a child? What excited you, gave you something to look forward to, made everything a little easier to handle? Have you given up a dream to do what is considered a “normal” job?

Then again, what if you haven’t found what you love yet? If this is the case, I must ask, what’s stopping you from trying something new; perhaps completely new to you?

The fact of the matter is, life’s going to be hard. That’s the human experience.

We’re going to have situations thrown at us that we may not be sure that we can handle. In these moments, we may forget the other true evidence of life – that it’s beautiful. It’s a truly individual journey filled to the brim with ups and downs, ease and struggle, and what we let ourselves do will shape us.

I’ve been returning to the video of this remarkable woman whenever I need a pick me up, a little reminder that as long as I’m happy doing what I’m doing, it’ll save me over and over again. If you’re looking for a little more inspiration today, check out this wonderful article full of advice from a few of us who have experienced this life the longest.

12 minutes

The Best Advice from 100-Year-Olds

Have you wondered what advice your 100- year-old self might give you today in your current circumstances?

Read More

If that doesn’t resonate with you, well, you’re still in the right place. This site is full of people doing what they love and changing the world a little bit along the way. Just click on the “Surprise Me” button over in the side more to explore some of the gems from our site!

I leave you today with the reminder that if you keep yourself open, happiness will stay nearby.


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  1. “National Geographic.” YouTube. National Geographic, 19 Mar. 2017. Web. 10 May 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpVm7bg6pXKo1Pr6k5kxG9A>.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.