Kicking the Tires of December 8, 2022

Today, I am making two old sayings work for me.

  1. “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.
  2. “Grow water lilies out of the muck.”

I know I am not the only one over 70 finding myself walking away from a task then failing to come back to finish it. Or, finding myself standing in a room and wondering why I am there. But I have stopped deprecating myself by calling it a senior moment and laughing it off behind a false face.

Make Lemonade and Grow Lilies

Now, I use those moments to make lemonade and grow lilies. I am reframing them: considering them as my messages from my brain telling me to stop horsing around with the irrelevant start focusing on the moment. Yesterday I was in the middle of paring potatoes when a feckless thought flitted across my mind. Like an idiot, I chased after it. Dropped my paring knife and went to my desk to look for the address of an old friend. And found myself wondering what the hell I was doing there.

What I wanted was potatoes for salad within the next half-an-hour, not an address. What a waste of time and energy. But you know, I fell into that habit in my teens. It would take me an hour to accomplish a ten-minute task.Now I don’t have the luxury of time and energy to waste, so my brain teaches me to focus then condense vapid thought into solid accomplishment.

Such experiences are common among the tribe of elders. I have decided to consider these moments to be gifts provide by “the unknown wisdom of life.” For me, it’s an opportunity to dismiss the “monkey mind” of earlier days and concentrate.

We can leverage those moments that are not relevant to what we are doing now. Enjoy the freedom from the unpleasant memories of the past and practice a new skill: engaging in the moment. The western horizon is in sight. Time to stop thinking “over the hill,” and embark on the upward curve. Let’s see how far I can go, how much I can accomplish with the time remaining.