At 115 years old, Maria Branyas Morera has seen and experienced a rapidly changing world in her lifetime.
The Spaniard has lived through two world wars, the Spanish Civil War, the invention of the computer and the internet, and she’s survived Covid-19.
Maria is officially the world’s oldest woman, after the death of the previous record holder, Lucile Randon, this month.
Maria's Twitter bio reads, “I'm old, very old, but not an idiot.”
At her age, Maria takes each day as it comes and on the first day of 2023, she tweeted, “Life is not eternal for anyone... At my age, a new year is a gift, a humble celebration, a new adventure, a beautiful journey, a moment of happiness. Let's enjoy life together."
On her Twitter account, she often reminisces about days gone by, especially during the holiday season. Last Christmas, alongside a picture of her family from 1899, she told her followers, "Merry Christmas everyone. For me, these holidays bring to mind the illusions of childhood, the joys of my youth. They remind me of grandparents, parents, husband, son and family that is no longer there. Happy holidays to all, with all my heart."
Bon Nadal a tothom. A mi, aquestes festes em porten a la memòria les il•lusions de la infantesa, les alegries de la meva joventut. Em recorden als avis, als pares, al marit, al fill i a la família que ja no hi és. Bones Festes a tots, de tot cor. pic.twitter.com/lDqlklhZkA— Super Àvia Catalana (@MariaBranyas112) December 25, 2022
READ MORE | A giant heart: how the world's shortest man is using his smile to conquer the world
Inventions like cellphones allow Maria to stay in touch with friends and her family, including her three children, 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
A phone would've been handy on the day she married Joan Moret in 1931, she reflected to her followers on Twitter.
After waiting for hours for the priest, the couple found out he had unexpectedly died, leaving them to find another priest at the last minute and get authorisation from the diocese for another priest to officiate their wedding.
They also had to inform the restaurant their celebratory meal would no longer be lunch, but dinner due to the delay, she wrote in the post.
un capellà disponible i una nova autorització del Bisbat. També calia avisar al restaurant de que el dinar seria un sopar. El casament de les 12, es va fer cap a les 7 de la tarda. Amb els convidats, una trentena, passàvem el temps contemplant el magnífic panorama que es ?? pic.twitter.com/k4K5sjjHpi— Super Àvia Catalana (@MariaBranyas112) November 5, 2022
READ MORE | She broke the record to become the world's tallest woman – and that's not the only record she has
When the news broke of her world record, she tweeted, “I need peace and tranquility. I have lived in the Tura Residence (a nursing home in Catalonia, Spain) for 22 years and I do not want the day-to-day life of the residents or the staff who take care of us to change.”
Technological advances have made life easier, says Maria, but it's not necessarily better than in the old days.
She believes that modern society puts too much value on money and that people lived “more peacefully and more joyfully” at the beginning of the 20th century.
As for how the rest of us can live long lives, filled with more peace and joy, Maria says the key is to have “order, tranquility, good connections with family and friends, contact with nature, emotional stability, no worries, no regrets, lots of positivity – and stay away from toxic people”.
Sources: news.sky.com, people.com, guinnessworldrecords.com, edition.cnn.com, twitter.com