“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people:
those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.”
John M. Richardson, Jr.
I was talking with a friend the other day whose father is living in an isolated area and it may not be too long before it will be difficult for him to stay where he is. He lives in a rural area and has enjoyed the isolation in his later years, in fact he has told those close to him that he can’t abide some of people who believe the strangest things these days and who feel they have to foist their beliefs onto others. In his mind there is no way that he would like a retirement or assisted living environment and the people who would be his neighbors.
I shared with my friend that I did not want to wait until the point necessity dictated my moving to a place that offered the help I might need to continue to enjoy life to my maximum ability. I think of aging as an ongoing period of adjustment, when I can’t do one thing I can do something else instead. I have found that by understanding my limitations and living with them I can use them to define the exciting things in store for me tomorrow. I have often thought of my next move and rather than waiting too long and letting others choose what they think is best for me, I want to make the decisions. I want to be with interesting and active people, not with those who spend all their time blaming everything and everyone for whatever they feel happened to them. I want to find out where they are and go there. I don’t want to be like those who have lose all interest and in effect turn what might be some of their very best years into a pre-hospice vigil.
Some time ago a friend sent me a piece that reflected on one persons observations at various points in his life. Here is what he said:
I learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don't know how to show it. Age 42
I learned that the greater a person's sense of guilt, the greater his or her need to cast blame on others. Age 46
I learned that children and grandparents are natural allies. Age 47
I learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. Age 48
I learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. Age 51
I learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die. Age 53
I learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. Age 58
I learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. Age 62
I learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision. Age 66
I learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. Age 82
I learned that I still have a lot to learn. Age 92
Bottom line, things change and we have the choice of getting on board and enjoying the ride or staying on the dock letting life leave us behind. No matter what age you are today things will be different tomorrow and you get to decide if you want to manage the process or just accept whatever happens.
Let me give you one parting gift. Reread the list, but this time from the bottom up. If you recognize the value of his observations and how they put life into proper perspective then I am sure you will agree you don’t have to wait until your 92 to make positive life changes and commitments.
“I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.”
William Allen White
A minister was giving the children's message during church. For this part of the service, he would gather all the children around him and give a brief lesson before dismissing them.
On this particular Sunday, he was using squirrels for an object lesson on industry and preparation. He started out by saying, "I'm going to describe something, and I want you to raise your hand when you know what it is." The children nodded eagerly.
"This thing lives in trees (pause) and eats nuts (pause)..." No hands went up. "And it is gray (pause) and has a long bushy tail (pause)..."
The children were looking at each other, but still no hands raised.
"And it jumps from branch to branch (pause) and chatters and flips its tail when it's excited (pause)..."
Finally one little boy tentatively raised his hand. The minister breathed a sigh of relief and called on him.
"Well," said the boy, "I know the answer you're looking for is supposed to be 'Jesus' ... but it sure sounds like a squirrel to me."
It worked... Now if I could only remember what I did.
An Arkansas state trooper stopped Sherry for going 15 miles over the posted speed limit.
After he handed her a ticket, Jill asked, "Don't you give out warnings?"
"Yes, Ma'am," he replied. Warnings are all up and down the highway. They say, . . 'Speed Limit 65.'"
"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."
Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?"
Who was the first person to say, "See that chicken there...I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta it's butt."
If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?
If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?
Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't point to their butt when they ask where the bathroom is?
Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!
Did you hear about the new liberal church?
It has six commandments and four suggestions.
A Scotsman, planning a trip to the Holy Land, was aghast when he found it would cost fifty dollars an hour to rent a boat on the Sea of Galilee.
"Hoot mon," he said, "in Scotland it wouldna ha' been more than $20."
"That might be true," said the travel agent, "but you have to take into account that the Sea of Galilee is water on which our Lord himself walked."
"Well, at $50 an hour for a boat," said the Scotsman, "it's no wonder he walked!"
“Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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The editor is somewhat senile.
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