Jul 13th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

The Importance of Attitude

When living in Omaha and working there back in the 70’s, each day brought an encounter with a dear, aging friend.  My question of him each morning would be:  “What’s it like, Emmitt?”  His reply:  “Moving slow, Jerry, moving slow.”  He experienced some health issues brought about from a long life of caring for others, working hard at his profession (a minister), and taking seriously the issues of the time. I remind you that it was the 70’s and he was African American.

Every issue, every cause, every ripple affecting the black community landed on his door step.  He had served in that part of Omaha for a number of years.  He was well known, well respected and liked, and articulate.  The result was that he was drawn into every pulse beat involving the African American community.

When finally the time came for him to move on, he did so, but with major reluctance.   His health finally took its toll early in his retirement.  I still miss that man of valor and great strength, even though there were days when he moved “slow.”

Even slow days can be days for making a difference. In spite of waning strength and ready enthusiasm, there are days when the bad seem to weigh us down from being able to do the tasks we know need doing.   Losing that stamina is one of the humbling events of our lives as we age. Many try to find ways to stay in the fray, to keep the flame glowing.  But, the body sometimes has differing agendas for us.   Keeping up with the times and all the rush and rumble of daily existence requires no small effort.

The difference in good and bad days is that on good ones you are still able to assert yourself. Bad ones are just slower.  But, even with that you try to make some kind of difference by making your presence known.   If all you can do on bad days is show up, sometimes that is enough and more than many choose to do.

Encourage Good Days

The difference in good days is that they come shining through and when that happens you know the difference. You are more articulate.  You are more on target.  Your observations are clearer.  Your command of your own person keener.  Your contributions seem greater.  Small things become more important.  Big things come more easily.

Bad days are those that must be challenged.  The way that happens is we decide that we are worth more on good days, can do more on good ones, feel like taking on the demons and monsters that attempt to drive us back and discourage us.  Bad days are those in which we are in retreat.  We just don’t feel up to it.  We have to say a resounding  yes to the day instead of a timid no.

Good days require nurturing.  They need encouragement.  They need reminders that our choices today will make a difference somewhere, to somebody.  They will make a difference in us and for us.  When tempted to move slow, Emmitt always shook off the lethargy and picked up the day’s duty and moved out among those who expected him and his unique presence to be there.  Shall we do less?

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