The paper on aging seems to have hit a cord (multiple cords) with many so I’m ready to go a bit deeper into the subject. Where my first few thoughts take me is unknown, but I am confident they will take me somewhere; they always do.
My first thought is that of Lenette, my love for sixty plus years and a caregiver par excellence. I seriously believe I’m here and doing as well as I am because of her love, tenacity, commitment and dedication to my survival and more and that is to be what she believed I could be, which, by the way, went far beyond where I was heading. So in contemplating this paper I began to think of “unconditional love,” but the more I thought on this the more I feel and have experienced throughout my life that “unconditional love” is impossible. We’ve heard the phrase often not only about the exceptional relationship between rare humans, but how often used relative to our relationships to the animals we bring into our lives? Like, “dogs give unconditional love and cats only when they want.” Absolutely untrue! Treat an animal badly and see what they give back.
I spent many years of study and hands on work with people of every age and ability. When I have taught or written about bad and stupid leadership I know from experience (is there a better teacher?) that anyone with power that uses their power for selfish reasons or to abuse others, they may get compliance, but they also are guaranteed to get back worse than what they give in one way or another. Do dogs bite? Do cats scratch? And if they don’t, they and people too, find other ways. My advice remains remarkably constant. If you posses the power and responsibility give love as freely as possible and love will literally rain over you. Also a final thought about all significant relationships: Be the first to give love and try your best to avoid expecting returns, and if we are honest with ourselves, we all have expectations, even if deeply buried.
The next thought that comes to mind is exercise, and I see this as my job and I don’t want to be fired. I am not just thinking about taking a walk around the block (although better than sitting, watching TV or glued to your computer, I-phone or I-pad) for hours at a time. I work out five days a week, feel great, eat better, sleep better and in general the pay-off is remarkable. If you can’t walk in my gym shoes, how’s about doing something physical three days a week? In any case, seriously look upon exercise as going to work each day. Work is so much a part of our history and present why not keep it going into the future?
My final thoughts for this one pager are for the mental and emotional part of the process of aging. As I strongly recommend exercise I equally recommend giving purpose in your life. Attainable goals are essential to me. Maybe never to be finished, but the point is the journey not the destination. Interesting that I never felt like I finished any of the entrepreneurial projects I started. Each one opened up different roads to take and I don’t remember having an end in sight never really knowing what the next day will bring. I do remember that there was always more and better to do. And as I’ve taught to others: Events dictate! They certainly did and do to me. Sy
L&MB Magazine 6 - Q2, 2016
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