At 109 years old, Jessie Gallan is Scotland’s oldest woman to have walked their land. A strong, no-nonsense woman, Ms. Gallan teaches girls and mature women the importance of living their lives to the fullest and taking control of their own happiness.

Aside from a nice warm bowl of porridge every morning, she reveals that one of the secrets behind her long life is her avoidance of men. That’s right—she’s never been married. You might think that she’s a big man-hater, but really, she really just prefers to rely on her own. The fiery centenarian left her home when she was 13 and that’s when she began to fend for herself. She first worked on a farm where she was in charge of milking the cows. She was also had perfect attendance for hearing the mass and taking exercise classes.

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As Gallan was exposed to the harshness of life, the importance of effort and perseverance was instilled in her young, bright mind.

“I worked hard and seldom would I ever take a holiday.”

 This particular mindset was engraved in her mind and heart that she refused to marry and depend on no one but herself until the time she matured and aged. When she was still in her teens and twenty’s, women her age would have set off to find a wealthy or charming man to spend the rest of their lives with, but Gallan chose to live independently, satisfied with lavishing on the fruits of her own hard work.

If we look closely, Gallan’s choice of being single for life does have its valid points. First, she saved her heart from the pains of multiple heartbreaks. There have been studies that show how feelings of rejection can also do physical harm to our hearts and overall well-being. Next, she was able to save up enough money and spend it all to herself—from her future plans to her big and small luxuries. Raising a kid can be quite expensive, and adding about two or more can raise her bills and budget to the roof. Lastly, Gallan was able to avoid the bitter possibility of a divorce. We all know how such a separation can go awry, draining your wallet and zest for life.

On a sorrowful note, Gallan passed away a few months after she had an interview with The Daily Mail. Still, she serves as an inspiration to all women (and possibly even men), that true happiness and satisfaction is something that is found from within. Through the life she lived, Gallan was the perfect example of seizing your own happiness and not depending on the sunshine of your life to anyone else.

Watch her encouraging interview below:

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