October 23, 2013

A Quote To Take To Heart





A good friend of mine sent me a quote recently that seems to perfectly summarize what our attitude should be. It was:

 
TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU'VE EVER BEEN, YET THE YOUNGEST YOU'LL EVER BE. SO - ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS.

Doesn't that put it all into simple perspective? Those of us who have less of our life ahead of us than behind us are reminded constantly about our age. Companies don't usually advertise to us. Doctors and airline pilots seem to be teenagers. Too many political figures look for ways to make our life tougher by threatening our safety nets and income or health coverage. Our bodies start to fail us no matter how conscientious we may be. We are not getting any younger.

Yet, that is the point of the quote. Why would I waste my time worrying about the past? Why would I get upset by what may happen in the future? The clock is ticking and none of that worry will slow it down, it can only make me enjoy right now less.

Frankly, I had never thought of time in the way this quote positions it, but it is so logical and true. It is a simple statement of fact that reminds me all I really have is today, right now.


There was another part of the note my friend sent me that contained a concept I really like:
"Move The Needle."
In essence that says to me life is not meant to be lived stuck in one place, doing one thing, in the same way. Being fully alive means moving the needle in your life on a constant basis. Crank it up, make the needle get close to the red line occasionally by pushing yourself physically, or mentally, or emotionally. Expand your horizons, push back against your supposed limits. Move the needle of your life.

Thanks, Pat. You've made writing today's post on retirement advice easy by giving us two important things to think about. Now, I need to get busy doing something that will move my needle while I focus on today and what my next step should be!




25 comments:

  1. Oh, I love this post! So true! We have control over our feelings, emotions, and how we perceive life. We can choose to be appreciative of what we have. Of course there will be things that happen in life that we cannot control, but we can always choose how we react to them. It's hard to spend time around people who are overwhelmingly negative in their outlook.

    I think we have all heard the phrase "stuff happens" (this is the G-rated version). I really don't like that phrase. So many time stuff DOESN'T just happen. It is a result of our own actions or inactions.

    And even when life throws you a curve ball, we can choose how we react. In my prior career, all of my patients had a chronic condition that ultimately shortened their life span and in addition required dialysis just to survive. Talk about adversity. I was always amazed and in awe of those who, despite this terrible disease, chose to remain positive. One patient stands out in my mind especially. She would go out of her way to help the newly diagnosed. Offering comfort, understanding and practical advice. Such a great example of taking control of the situation, making the best of it, and in the process, helping other people. This in turn gave her life meaning and I am sure a sense of accomplishment. A win-win situation for both people.

    Someone once said to me that as we get old, our world gets smaller. This can lead to isolation, boredom, unhappiness and self-centeredness. I'm not convinced that it has to be that way. I'd like to think that as we age we can continue to grow and expand our horizons. We may be limited by physical ailments, but it doesn't mean we have to limit our minds, our souls and our influence on others that walk into our lives.

    Thanks, Bob for another great post that gives us all something to think about.

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    1. Every once in awhile something I write is really a very personal plea to myself. This post is one of them. I am simply settling for what I am now far too often. I am not pushing myself enough.

      I am glad you have such a positive reaction but if I don't break out of the box you see me standing in above, it is my own darn (g-rated version!) fault.

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  2. How true, Bob. Love that first quote. Lately, I have been reminding myself to "carpe diem". Make the time to get out of my comfort zone while savoring at other times the familiar connections. While also reminding myself that I have nothing any longer to "prove", I can still seek the many forms of "exhilaration". Thanks.

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    1. I am going to try something new to give myself an energy boost each afternoon when I tend to be the most lethargic: go for a 2 mile walk just before dinner. I want to see if that helps break my current pattern of too much "vegging out" in the evening due to a low energy level.

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  3. Great quotes, Bob, both of them. I have found that as time goes by (I am approaching my 60th birthday soon) that I worry less about many things that used to feel so important. I try not to let work, nasty retail employees, and other nuisances impact my enjoyment of life in any way as well. I look more fondly on past experiences, and look forward to what is to come. Life is truly wonderful if you give up the type of baggage you refer to, and just live it fully.

    BTW, last night I was spending some time looking at music videos from the 60s and 70s. Talk about bringing back some fond memories of a completely different era. If anyone waxes nostalgic for an earlier time, jump onto YouTube and put in a song or group from then. The site will also give you suggestions of other videos to watch, many that you might want to click on and listen to as well. It is a great stress reliever, too.

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    1. There isn't a song or group, no matter how obscure, that isn't represented on YouTube. I take part in a ham radio gathering every Wednesday evening during which we have to answer questions about songs and groups from the 60's. Being a former DJ I have an unfair advantage, but there are still questions I can't answer. Off I go to YouTube to see the group or listen to the song. It is so much fun to revisit that time of my life.

      An early 60th Happy Birthday wish, Chuck. Enjoy the Tennessee fall weather.

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  4. Thanks, Bob! I read this while I was lying in bed trying to decide whether I should sleep in or get up and exercise. I chose to walk the two miles on the treadmill. :)........Glenda

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    1. I am sorry, Glenda.

      No, just kidding. Good for you!

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  5. Bob, I was sitting here at the computer dreading going to an exercise class. Shazam! Just the kick in the pants I needed. Thanks! Love the pic.

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    1. That picture was taken at an historic fort site near Spokane, Washington. It does seem to fit parts of my life!

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  6. Loved this post! Move the needle...sure will have to remember that. Read recently that instead of complaining that the rose has thorns...rejoice that the thorn has roses. Life is certainly about how we perceive it and how we participate. Each day is such a beautiful gift...whether early in life or later. How we live it is up to us. Very good to be reminded! What a blessing you are to us all. Thank you so much.

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    1. The thorn-rose statement is a good way to think about our opportunities, Linda. Thanks for being a regular reader/contributor.

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  7. Many of the best posts come when they speak the loudest to the post-er! I loved that saying too - puts a lot of things into perspective. Thanks for making it real!

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    1. Our daytime temperatures are stuck in the 80's but I will still walk this afternoon as promised above. I will move my needle.

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  8. I've always been a glass half full kinda girl. Sometimes we just need a reminder...nudge...whatever, to keep our perspective. Great post!
    b

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    1. This was a nudge for me that others seem to appreciate...a win/win.

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  9. I love that arrow sign! My retirement has given me so much more time to go in the new direction I've wanted to take. Now I have time to research and write! And I have time to help other wannabe authors. What fun. Thanks!

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    1. I just took a look at your story on Google+. You have quite a lot going on, and are doing it now from Ecuador! Thanks for your supportive comments and best of luck on the JFK book.

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  10. I lost a dear friend (and debate partner) to cancer two days ago. Her nurse said that she was just throwing popcorn and making wise cracks the night before. She moved her needle at 57 when she was diagnosed. Making every day count.
    Right now that needle is being moved for me to rocking my grandchild to sleep. I love my grandchildren, but taking the time to rock them entirely to sleep is something I have never done. It is amazing to slow down some parts of life to enjoy others.
    Enjoy the time we have- for it will never be here again. Thanks for the reinforcement!

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    1. I am sorry for your loss. She left a legacy of fighting the good fight to the end.

      Grandkids can put it all into perspective, can't they. When I walk in the door of their home I am grabbed and hugged just like my daughters used to do all those years ago. It is a nice feeling.

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  11. Your post reminds me of a quote I heard years ago - Do life so life doesn't do me. What a privilege to have choices in our retirement. What a privilege to be able to retire. Working or retired, we all have the choice of how we spend our time and do life.

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    1. How we "do life" is so much in our control. It is up to us to make the most of this one-time opportunity. Thanks, Mona.

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  12. Something that often holds me back is the feeling that I lack the skills or talent to do some of the things that interest me. Recently I joined a group of people who go to nursing homes and sing old familiar songs. We invite them to sing along with us. We are just awful. We get mixed up and laugh at ourselves and there is one lady who is never quite with the rest of us. But Guess what? They love us. They hug us and get teary and want us to come back. Sometimes it is not the talent that counts.

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    1. That is a great idea and one that anyone can do. You are so right, it is not the talent, it is the caring enough to show up.

      Thanks for the this story, Judy.

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  13. Oh by the way...I love the background for this page!

    b+

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