SANTA ROSA BEACH — Kay Skibbe wants everyone to make it to 100 years of life.
Why? Because she wants you to experience the very same "perks" she experienced on April 5, her birthday.
"The perks are wonderful," Kay said adding that she was having several celebrations throughout the day.
Kay was born 1919 in Philadelphia. She remembers the creation of ballpoint pens that cost a fortune, when the city street lights were powered by gas and had to be turned on manually, and when groceries were delivered by horse wagons.
"Things have become a lot easier," Kay said about the changing times. "But they've become a lot harder too."
Her life has been filled with many joyous moments so far, she says. But memories with her husband of 60 years and her five children are irreplaceable.
Kay's husband died six days after they celebrated their 60th anniversary in the hospital.
For 15 years, Kay has volunteered her time at Caring and Sharing of Santa Rosa Beach, where she works every Friday sorting and examining donated items.
"The staff here don't make a million dollars. Believe me, they don't get paid that well," she said. "But they're all such happy, good-willed kind of people. That's definitely my favorite part about working here."
Prior to her time at Caring and Sharing, Kay was instrumental in the building of the Destin Library, where she also volunteered for 15 years.
Today, Kay enjoys making clay jewelry pieces. She attends a book club with her friends. She surrendered her driver's license last year on her own free will, and now relies on her daughters and son-in-law to drive her to work.
She loves attending her Monday morning meditation classes where she reads, discusses and learns about philosophy and Buddhism. Kay enjoys bettering her life one revelation at a time.
"It teaches you not to sweat the small stuff," Kay said. "It teaches you a perspective that things that could be crisis aren't because they're not as important as they seem.
"It has made a big difference in my life. ... It has taught me a lot of patience."
Kay said she doesn't know the secret to making it to 100. But if she did, she would bottle it.
"I think mental outlook has a lot to do with it," Kay said. "If you're not stressed, which meditation has helped me not to be, and if you're optimistic, I think that makes a big difference."
As for what's next, Kay doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon.
"I have good health," she said. "It's not like I'm 100 years old and have crippling arthritis or Alzheimer's or any chronic diseases or anything to hold me back."