I stepped outside my office today just to get a breath of fresh air and soak up some of the glorious sunshine. A very nice, lady ( I will call her Sue) who works at the bank on the lower level of my building (where I happen to actually do my banking) was outside reading a magazine during her break. We chatted for a moment or two and then she commented on the weather. I agreed it was a beautiful day and wished I was at the beach. She laughed and waved her hand and said, " Ha! The beach? I love the beach but those days are over!" I didn't get a chance to ask her why; her break was over and she quickly made her way back inside.
As I stood there, I could not help but wonder why her days at the beach are over. She is a lovely lady, married for years and younger than me. She is a bit overweight but I am sure she doesn't look bad in a bathing suit. So why, when she loves the beach, are those days over? She's healthy, she's strong, she is still young. I don't know her personally. She could have had skin cancer at one time and that keeps her away from the beach. I think that is a valid reason, but based on the way she said it, I have my doubts about that. Her statement echoed in my head all day and I couldn't stop thinking about all the times I actually hear those words:
"I used ride my bike all the time.....those days are over."
"I used to go out dancing but......those days are over."
"I enjoy sled riding, or jet skiing but.....those days are over."
" I wish I could play baseball but.....those days are over."
" I would love to have a motorcycle but.....those days are over."
" I always wanted to go back to school but....those days are over."
Nothing depresses me more than to hear someone make a statement like that, no matter what their age. I believe that once you adopt an attitude of "those days are over..." you will become old, sedentary, negative, and boring. I recently went camping and borrowed a sleeping bag from my parents. They were concerned because I did not have an inflatable air mattress to sleep on. " You are no spring chicken anymore," they told me. "You can't go camping and sleep on the ground like you used to when you were 20. You are 48 years old now! Those days are over!" How proud I was to return the sleeping bag to them completely free of any aches or pains from sleeping on the cold hard ground two nights in a row! Spring Chicken, indeed!! I can't help but wonder if I had adopted their attitude if I would have come home racked with pain instead. I truly believe if I keep telling myself I can't and listening to the negativity of others, those days will be over!
Some of us are older. We have health issues and limitations that make it difficult to do everything we used to do. I certainly understand that. I am not encouraging anyone to go out and play baseball 7 days a week when your doctor is telling you to take it easy. What I am saying is most of the things we are able to do and not able to do are simply a matter of attitude. A "those days are over" attitude has such a sad, hopeless, finality to it. A "those days are over" attitude, whether you know it or not, paves the way for a subtle depression to set in, and depression causes aches, pains, and limitations. Aches, pains and limitations cause more depression. It's a never ending cycle that will eventually consume you and make you start to feel old before your time.
I recently went to Claudios in Greenport for Memorial Day weekend. It's an annual ritual for me to usher in the summer out there eating fresh clams and listening to great live music with good friends. Out on the dance floor was an elderly couple dancing their butts off to the music in the hot sun. They had to be the oldest people in a sea of twenty, thirty and forty-somethings. I couldn't stop smiling as I watched them. They were having a blast, enjoying each other, laughing, dancing, spinning, twirling. They put the rest of us to shame. Did they have aches and pains the next day? Perhaps. Did they think it was worth it? I am sure they did. Imagine if they just sat on the side watching everyone else having a great time, their hearts pumping, feet tapping to the music, but holding back with a "we used to love to dance but...those days are over" attitude?
Think about the things you used to love to do or something you always wanted to do but think you can't anymore. Perhaps you want to go back to college, learn to drive a stick shift, take a trip cross country, start a new business, or go out and dance all night. What ever it is, fill in the blanks:
" I used to__________...but those days are over."
" I always wanted to _____________...but those days are over."
"I enjoy________________...but those days are over."
Think long and hard about it and then ask yourself "why are those days over?" It is quite possible that you might come up with a million reasons why they are most certainly NOT over. You just need to change your way of thinking. Those days are not over until you breathe your last breath. I plan to to enjoy every minute of life doing everything I want and love to do as long as my heart, body and mind allows me. How about you?
And this is my Daily Cyn..........