Take Care of Yourself, Work on Yourself, Never Give Up!
This is my last topic for National Mental Health Awareness Month. Please bear with me because this is a bit free form.
You’ve heard it said, “The older you get, the bolder you get”. “The older you are, the wiser you are.” I’m 72 years old so I’m considered by many to be, ‘time-tested’, ‘experienced’, ‘well-seasoned’, even ‘antique’! Ha!
Yes, I’ve seen myself become bolder because inhibitions have melted away. Shyness has fallen by the wayside, and the ticking of time becomes louder. The “wiser” part, that’s a debate.
Here’s what I have learned and observed in 72 years: Nobody is perfect. Everyone carries baggage. Some people’s baggage is more than yours and mine. Some people seem to have concierges who arrange to have their baggage carried for them and send them on wonderful experiences, but they still have baggage. I work to be more understanding of others’ baggage.
In 72 years I’ve seen and experienced all types of personal crises. Some people have had many more than me, and some fewer I’m sure. Everyone has crises. The idea is to deal with them in the best possible way and get past them.
In the early years, some of us have had early childhood difficulties including loss of parents, childhood abuse, bullying, and physical or mental disabilities that limit or hinder development.
In the middle years I’ve seen more crises come from, divorce, loss of a job, or a failure of some sort. I’ve experienced and lived through some of these. It’s tough. I work to remain optimistic. I work to get past them when they happen. And they will pass.
In the later years, I see more death, more caretaking, loss of a spouse, sickness and physical problems, and continuing mental illness. As a counterpoint, I also find more people at peace and comfortable with themselves. I find them more understanding and giving. Many have walked the walk themselves. I find them eager to have life experiences because they hear the clock ticking and the sunsets accelerating. Life becomes important and dear. Something to grasp and hold onto.
All of the above I’ve seen and experienced in my 72 years. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to take care of yourself. Tend to your wounds, whether mental or physical. Don’t neglect yourself. Ultimately, it’s just you. Do everything you can to keep your ship on the course you’ve set. When there’s a roadblock, move around it. When there’s a crisis in progress, navigate through it with the best decisions you can make at the time.
In 72 years I’ve learned to keep working on myself. None of us is perfect. We all have our American Tourister, Louis Vuitton, or Costco baggage to drag along. I still make mistakes all the time. They include saying the wrong things at the wrong times, making poor judgments, losing my temper, having difficulty forgiving, and even mismanaging my finances at times. The list goes on. The point is, to recognize there are issues and keep working on yourself. Get help. See a doctor or psychologist. Get financial guidance. Read a self-help book, or find someone or something that inspires you. Whatever it takes, look for those strategies to help make you a better person every day, and minimize the crises and roadblocks in life. Do it for yourself.
And finally, live your life with a glass half-full, not a glass half-empty. Nothing kills progress in life like a lack of optimism. I have always believed that something good could be just ahead. It’s out there. We just need to keep working, inch by inch, towards it. Remember to stay true to yourself, guide your ship with purpose, and know there’s always a better you and a better life as each day passes.
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