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Norman Lear Shares Moving Message About "Miracle of Being Alive" on 100th Birthday

The influential writer and producer turned the milestone age on July 27.

You learn a lot after living through an entire century, and on his 100th birthday, Norman Lear is sharing some of his wisdom with the rest of us. The celebrated writer and producer has been posting a series of #BreakfastThoughts videos on his social media accounts, and he shared a special one in honor of turning the milestone age. In the clip, which was posted the day before his big birthday—July 27, 2022—Lear reflects on his journey and imparts some advice for living a happy, fulfilling life.

Read on to see what Lear had to say and to learn more about how the TV legend—who has created or worked on over 100 shows—is celebrating 100 years.

READ THIS NEXT: Jimmie Walker Said He Never Spoke to These Good Times Co-Stars.

He's amazed to be turning 100.

Lear begins the video by singing a line from the song "That's Amore" and remembering working with Dean Martin, who made the song famous, "all those years ago."

"I'm thinking about that as I sit here in this glorious part of Vermont with my glorious daughter Kate Lear LaPook, who is holding this infinitely brilliant little cell phone camera that is photographing me," Lear says. "And, I mean, my god, the miracle of being alive with everything that's available to us, and me turning 100 tomorrow. (Laughs) Did you hear me? Tomorrow, I turn 100. That's as believable to me as… today I'm 99. (Laughs)."

He offers some advice to anyone watching.

Norman Lear at The Paley Honors: A Special Tribute to Television's Comedy Legends in 2019
Eugene Powers / Shutterstock

Lear, who is known for bringing shows including All in the Family and Good Times to TV, periodically shares videos he calls #BreakfastThoughts on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, which include whatever pieces of wisdom are on his mind. In the video for his 100th birthday, he talks about living in the moment.

"I've been doing breakfast thoughts, and I guess my breakfast thought at the moment is… is the moment," he says. "Every person who is seeing me now—some are seeing me within months of my saying this, some are likely to see this years after I have said this. But whenever all of you are seeing it, that will be the moment you're seeing it, as this is the moment I'm saying it.

Lear continues, "And what that means to me is living in the moment. The moment between past and present or present and past. The moment between after and next. The hammock in the middle of after and next. The moment. Treasure it. Use it. With love."

He's celebrating his birthday with his family.

Norman and Lyn Lear at the Critics' Choice Awards in 2020
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Ahead of his birthday, Lear told People that he planned to spend it with the people closest to him.

"I can't wait to be at my home in Vermont and celebrate with my entire family," the All in the Family creator said, "my wonderful wife [Lyn Lear], my six children, my two sons-in-law, and my four grandchildren. How lucky am I?"

He also talked about his plans with USA Today. "My birthday will entirely consist of waking up in the morning to find my kids and grandkids there and spending the day together," he said. "That's it. Turning 100 has allowed me to already do a century of things."

Lear will also be celebrated with his own TV special, Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter, on Sept. 22 on ABC.

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He hasn't retired.

Norman Lear at An Evening with Jimmy Kimmel in 2019
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Though Lear is at the incredible age of 100, he has not stopped working and has no plans to retire. Right now, he has several projects in the works as a producer, including a potential Who's the Boss? revival and an animated version of Good Times.

In his interview with USA Today, he explained, "I don't consider retirement, not so long as there's something I want to do when I wake up in the morning. And there always is. Some people run. I don't run. I wake up and do the things that please me. That's my present to myself. That's my prayer. That's everything."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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