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.

Advertisement

KICKING THE TIRES OF MY DAY November 18 2022

Be It Good, or Be It Bad, It’s Done

Writing under pressure! Exactly thirty minutes to write and post. Making things worse, I lost the document that contained the jottings for today’s post. My mind revolves fruitlessly. Oops! Looks like I found a topic. Creating under pressure. Creating against a timeline. Creating a job that must be accomplished. Time is short and I can’t put this off until I have more time to write a better post.

Because

  • These specific moments will never come again.
  • It feels better to accomplish something I told myself I would accomplish, than possibly do a better job at a later date.
  • The more I write, the better I write, that’s the theory anyway and I will pretend that it’s true.

What I I am living a Collection of Habits

Segue to a new thought. I woke up this morning, and I felt like I was a different person. I didn’t feel as if I were another person, but a different side of myself feeling a different set of feelings than those to which I am accustomed. Makes me wonder how much of “who we think we are” is nothing more or less than a set of habits that run themselves automatically.

KICKING THE TIRES OF NOVEMBER 17 2022

Yesterday, my milometer ticked over another 1000 miles. I am still in the 70,000 mile range, but the wheels are turning faster. Not long now before I break into the next decade.. When I blew out the latest wet birthday candles I told myself “got to move faster so I can pass the checkered flag flying with a flourish.

Another Thousand Miles on the Treads

I am still up for learning new things, acquiring new skills and finding new ways of looking at life. Thinking back. . .Just now, I stopped myself. I won’t write anything referencing the “the me that was and “the me” that wasn’t”.

Look Ahead When Driving

How much time must be lost before it’s impossible to make up for lost time? Perhaps,the answer is “never.” Possibly one can build a new time, and live that instead. I painted the back window of my car with black reflective paint so I cannot see the road behind. After all what is the point? I cannot fix the potholes, cracks and ruts of the road I already drove. . Now when I look in the rear view mirror, it reflects the road ahead; now I always see where I am going.

The Last Lap

“The game is afoot” as Holmes said. How fast can I drive? How far can I drive? How much fun can I have along the way? Once I finally run out of gas with no hope of refilling the tank. I want to feel satisfied with the way I drove the last lap.

A Question of Concern and Worry

Looking into the windows of our neighbors’ lives, we are never surprised when we see worry behind the panes. After all worry is not just an old acquaintance; it is an expected guest. People who worry are members of a global community that crosses the boundries of race, color, creed, language, and cuisine.

Imagine five friends around a table enjoying a cup of tea and local gossip. Listen to the lady in yellow gingham. Her dog did a “Houdini” slipping through the gate and vanishing up the road. She is concerned and plans to search for the dog. At the same time, worry fills her conversation with all the unpleasant things that might happen to her dog. Her friends are sympathetic; they feel sad. But what if the dog’s owner woman happily talks about the dog having adventures: getting a bone from the butcher or having a wonderful time chasing a rabbit. How does this change the mood? Will her friends think she doesn’t really care for the dog if she isn’t worried?

is it possible to be concerned without worry? Does worry have intrinsic value?

Imagine five friends around a table enjoying a cup of tea and local gossip. Listen to the lady in yellow gingham. Her dog did a “Houdini” slipping through the gate and vanishing up the road. She is concerned and plans to search for the dog. At the same time, worry fills her conversation with all the unpleasant things that could happen to her dog. Her friends are sympathetic.  Everyone is feeling sad. But what if the dog’s owner woman happily talks about the dog getting a bone from the butcher or having a wonderful time chasing after a rabbit. How will her friends react? Will they think she doesn’t really care for the dog.

Is it possible to be concerned without worry? Does worry have intrinsic value?

Merriam-Webster lists half a page of definitions for “Concern.” The pertinent onehere “is a matter that causes feelings of unease, uncertainty, or apprehension.”

When it comes to worry, Merriam-Webster offers several definitions worth looking at.

  • to shake or pull at with the teeth (substitute thoughts for teeth)
  • to touch or disturb something repeatedly (in your thoughts)
  • to afflict with mental distress or agitation
  • to subject to persistent or nagging attention or effort

Stir those definitions into a pot and the result is constant, repetitive, and distressing thoughts circling endlessly through through one brain all day and most of the night. As Shakespeare put it “sound and fury signifying nothing.”

Concern

Merriam-Webster lists half a page of definitions for “Concern.” The pertinent one in this case is a matter that causes feelings of unease, uncertainty, or apprehension. I like to think concern implies acting with intent to modify a situation, no matter how small the action may be.

Worry

When it comes to worry, Merriam-Webster offers several definitions worth looking at.

  • to shake or pull at with the teeth (substitute thoughts for teeth)
  • to touch or disturb something repeatedly (in your thoughts)
  • to afflict with mental distress or agitation
  • to subject to persistent or nagging attention or effort

Stir those definitions into a pot and the result is constant, repetitive, and distressing thoughts circling endlessly through day and night. As Shakespeare put it “sound and fury signifying nothing.”

I like the idea that concern implies acting with intent to improve a situation, no matter how insignificant the action may be.

On the other hand, worry is repetitious thoughts dwelling on unwanted outcomes. Such worry not only generates crankiness and sleeplessness, it ffects your health and well-being: chronic inflammation, higher cholesterol levels, insulin resistance, increased blood pressure, and stress. If you can’t Be Happy at least replace worry with some kind of action, no matter how small.