Arch Bishop teaching Tai Chi in Lake County~ and friends
A dear friend of mine / sister in every way just had her 64th birthday and shared that her good friend who is in her 80s said “fight to keep your world big”.
I’ve been mulling over that statement a lot and I can’t quite get my head around it because the truth is our world does get smaller as we age in many ways no matter what we do to stay healthy.
Maybe It’s semantics but I somehow needed to ponder it to bring meaning in my life.
Sometimes things happen out of our control and there is no fighting it, the way I see it.
As I watch my parents, aunt and uncle, friends, and clients age, they continue to lose most of their friends around them which takes it’s tol and in some ways prepares them for the inevitable that they too shall face in time; like we all will.
It always rips their insides out loosing parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, best friends and especially spouses….. the one they thought would be with them forever to the bittersweet end is now gone and they are faced with the challenge of living life flying solo.
What I marvel at is how they continue to stay open and take each day as it comes. They are all still active.
My father in law at 91 still drives to work in the city getting up at 3:30 a.m. 3 days a week. He just lost his wife, my mother in law, and he has shed tears he never knew he had and continues to but this has allowed him to open in a way we have never seen before. He has had a garage sale, put his house up for rent and is moving into a retirement center. It isn’t easy and there are many challenges but there is also a twinkle in his eye with excitement for his next final cruise and grateful for the help we have given him which makes it a joy to be there for him.
My Dad much to my dismay drives down the hill even though is half blind, struggles to walk, lies on a tennis ball to try to ease his constant hip and back pain, has had a heart condition which he’ll say he doesn’t even though he has outlived his brothers who died in their early 60’s along with his Dad of heart a attack. He takes Warfin, and meets with the guys for lunch at Subway and Costco every week and continues to have a positive attitude.
My mom still works for a moving company and drives all over tarnation, goes to meditation, exercise, bakes up a storm, (she just baked me 15 dozen of her famous chocolate chip cookies to deliver to the masses). That’s my mom, always there to lend a hand no matter how much she has to do at home helping my step father with all of his health conditions.
A client at 86 continues to do course work and reinstates his architectural license for the next job that comes his way. He does a 5 minute plank. I challenge you to do one minute.
He has had his share of grief and yet is having the time of his life traveling, comes to exercise with me twice a week, sees another trainer once a week in Berkley and plays tennis 2 times a week with a hot new babe on his arm.
So, as our world continues to shrink, the question moreover is how do we stay open and seize the moment.
Grieving loss is important and necessary to let go and move forward so you can make room for what is.
As you do that, stay open to who is in your path at the moment that reaches out a hand, gives a hug, sends a card, makes a phone call.
Where ever you are in your life and your daily activities be grateful for what you do have and focus on that, not what you don’t have.
The world is magical and you will meet new friends along the path. Some of them and most of them will be younger as you continue to age. My favorite friends are the older ones because I learn so much from their wisdom if they have stayed open and have grown from their life experiences.
You may end up with a younger generation you don’t understand and learn some technological skills and they may learn about the history of a generation forgotten.
Stay grateful daily giving thanks for your blessings, look for the beauty as you come to each new crossroad no matter how challenging.
I could make lists of what to do like learn a new game, go somewhere new, read books etc but it’s more about keeping your soul and mind open to receive the universal goodness and grace that is all around EVERY moment if you listen to your heart and appreciate the beauty around you.
People will appear out of the woodwork and new activities, books etc will avail themselves to you if you adjust to the “new normal.”
Life is a mysterious gift.
That’s all you have to do.