Friday, October 25, 2019

Get Busy Living

The other night I watched Tyler Perry's "The Family That Preys Together." Kathy Bates was incredible in it, as she is in most everything she does. She was a middle-aged woman who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's and decided to live life to the fullest by taking a trip across country with her best friend.

One night into the trip, she wakes up crying unable to be consoled. It is then she tells her friend about the diagnosis. That powerful scene hit me very hard, not only because of my mom and what we went through, but also because I am heading into higher birthday numbers.

I sat and cried after the movie ended. I began thinking about my life, what I may have accomplished, and what good I can do with the time I have left. I'd been journaling a lot and writing things I want our children to see when I'm gone. Writing, to me, is a powerful way to share what I can't say sometimes or what I want to impart upon people who I may not have reached in other ways.

I did get caught in a self-pity party though. My bones are aching, my hair is thinning, my body is spreading into a different version of itself. I see lines on my face that weren't there before, and I tire much more easily. Fear crept in and made me realize that I've lived most of my life already, and that the remaining years won't be as long as the former. Wow, talk about a downer!

I spoke to someone who helped me to look at life right now in the way it should be viewed. With eyes wide open, heart full of love, ready to embrace whatever the coming years offer. In the movie "The Shawshank Redemption," Morgan Freeman's famous line is "Get busy living, or get busy dying." Yes, that is a wonderful way to view the years. I can choose to ponder the aging process, worrying over every small change that is occurring, or I can beat it at its own game by a renewed sense of passion and purpose every single day.

My father got busy living no matter what curve ball was thrown his way. When he couldn't refinish large furniture projects any longer due to health issues, he began to make small crafts instead. He told me he didn't want to die in a rocking chair, doing nothing. And he didn't.

Age is just a number. And when that number gives you the willies, or makes you pause for a moment and say, "Wow, I can't believe I'm almost _________ years old," we can console ourselves by thinking about our blessings. We can give ourselves powerful self-love with positive self-talk. I still have hair, my body works great, I am able to walk and enjoy the outdoors, I get a great night's sleep and enjoy naps. I work with my hands, I can hear great music, read excellent books. I can talk with loved ones and good friends. Our lists can go on and on.

Today I'm choosing to stick out my tongue at a birthday number. Maybe even thumb my nose at it. After all, the most fun part of getting older is getting away with a few things we weren't able to do a few years ago. We are now the outspoken ones. So let's get busy living!!

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