motivation, Personal Success, writing

Attitude, Focus and Sweat

rob-mulally-123849
Photo by Rob Mulally

An important skill taught in Driver’s Education courses is to keep one’s eyes where one wants to go (the safe place) and not on obstacles that one wants to avoid. For example, if your car starts to skid out of control, don’t focus on the tree you’re afraid of crashing into, but on the open road. If you focus on the tree, that’s where you’ll end up.

In life, that tree can be a metaphor for the last decades of our lives. We tend to focus on fears such as, “What if I don’t have enough money to retire?”

We live in a youth-centered society. We don’t take care of our elderly very well. So it’s no wonder so many of us fear growing old (despite the fact that it’s inevitable if we don’t die first).

When we choose to stop focusing on aging (and limitations), and start focusing on The Possibilities, fascinating things can happen:

Annie Proulx, this year’s winner of the National Book Award, and author of Brokeback Mountain and The Shipping News, did not start seriously writing until she was 58. (Bigthink)

In the middle of his prolific career as inventor and businessman, Thomas Edison’s plant was burned down by a fire – all of his work was gone. What was his reaction?

“Although I am over 67 years old, I’ll start all over again tomorrow.”

And he did, the very next day. He didn’t even let any of his employees go. Edison and his team made $10 million the very next year. (BusinessInsider)

What are you going to focus on?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CITATIONS

http://bigthink.com/21st-century-spirituality/how-the-mind-body-connection-determines-how-you-age

http://www.businessinsider.com/thomas-edison-in-the-obstacle-is-the-way-2014-5

Personal Success

Buying Fishing Tackle

gabby-orcutt-74607.jpg
Photo by Gabby Orcutt

Her name was Daisy.

She got blue ice cream.

After she named all the colors of the various dots on the ice cream window (blue, red, orange, green, and purple), I told her parents that she was adorable. I asked her, “How old are you?”

She held three fingers up.

“Wow, you know all of your colors and you jump so high and you’re only three?”

She nodded yes. Not proud, not shy, just being factual.

“My name is Daisy. What is your name?” Her voice was a shiny bell.

“Caroline.”

“How old are you?”

Her parents and I laughed.

“A LOT older than you!”

Her brows furrowed and she asked, “Why can’t you tell me?”

 

And I realized that I have bought into it hook, line and sinker*. Why was I being coy about my age? Because I’m a woman? Because 49 is old?

 

“I’m 49.”

She turned to her ice cream, satisfied. Not judgmental. Not shocked. Simply satisfied.

I watched her spoon blue ice cream into her mouth.

And I thought, I’m 49.  I’m not proud, not shy, just factual.

 

*American idiomatic phrase

 

 

Personal Success

Grateful for Aging

alex-harvey-34864.jpg
Photo by Alex Harvey
She sat across from me at her birthday dinner. She just turned 35. I am almost 49.

“I have laugh lines! I am getting gray hairs that stick straight up on end!”

“Well, it just makes it easier to pluck them out,” I said, trying to cheer her up.

“I am not going to complain about getting old. I LOVE aging!”

I looked at her sideways. This was unexpected. Who loves aging?

She explained, “We’re lucky to get old. Not everyone does. We should celebrate getting older, we’re so fortunate to keep living!”

Indeed.

I’ve decided that even though I live in America, where it is becoming a crime to be gay, trans, Mexican-American, Muslim or old, I hope we will eventually be like Taiwan when it comes to social issues. I’m not gay, but as an Asian-American, I know what discrimination feels like. In Taiwan, gays have equal rights.  The Taiwanese also respect their elders and take care of them. So I’m going to walk around proud in all my Asian and old glory because I know I’m lucky to be alive and kicking.

motivation, Personal Success

Age is Just a Number

jake-thacker-113197.jpg

Great achievements take time, energy, commitment and a positive attitude.

Chau Smith, at 70, decided to run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days.

On the same page is Harriette Thompson who, at 92, is the oldest person to complete a marathon.

Colonel Sanders, Founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, began peddling his recipe at 65.

At 73, he sold it for $2 million.

It’s never too late.

 

 

 

Health, Personal Success

2 Factors for Joy

bxs8sjvelks-delaney-dawson

How happy are you? Your age might be correlated to the level of your happiness. And acceptance might be the key to joy.

According to a study by Nielsen, people ages 18-21 are pretty happy, but the level of self-reported well-being goes on a decline until it hits rock bottom at age 50-53. This is due, in part, because people in this age bracket are preoccupied with money concerns: kids’ college tuition and their own retirement funds. But then, the level of contentment goes up on a steady trajectory for a high into the eighties. The reason?

As people age, they accept their aging. THIS is the key to contentment.

Perhaps we should all accept our present condition, no matter the age? Wouldn’t this naturally lead to more joy?

well being and age COTD

http://www.businessinsider.com/age-people-are-happiest-2016-5

 

Health, relationships

How to Fall in Love Again

megwdige

I met my husband at a party. He made me laugh with his amazing ability to do impressions of famous people. He could do perfect Irish accents.  On one of our dates to an Irish bar in San Francisco, we met a couple Irish tourists. Willey spoke to them with an Irish brogue and they asked him which part of Ireland he was from!

It’s 22+ years later:

22 years is a long time. Nights at bars gave way to babies, cancer (and recovery), school activities, music lessons, mortgages, bills and retirement plans. The impressions and carefree days faded away. We had have responsibilities.

I threw my husband a surprise birthday party for his 50th last night.

Relatives and friends flew in from out of state. Local friends attended the party. We had a great time. One of our guests was from Australia. Suddenly, Willey was from the Outback, talking like the Crocodile Hunter. We all gathered around him, laughing. And I saw him. I saw us.

I saw our future, our hopes, our dreams, our joy.

And it all came true: We have a home, dear friends and family, beautiful children.

birthday

 

When life is ebbing instead of flowing, remember the high tide. Remember what made you fall in love. It’s always there.