Don’t Blink

From the day we are born, one thing we will all do is age. With all the inventions of mankind, we have not figured out a way to stop the aging process. Lord knows the money Americans spend each year to try and slow the process down. But no matter what you do, Father Time will eventually show up in that reflection in the mirror.

The process of aging has different steps as we travel through life. When we’re young we all want to be older. How many times have you heard children add that half a year to their age? Billys, not six, he’s six and a half, as if that half a year is going to command more respect.

Then you hit those young teenage years. Thank heaven you’re not a “kid” anymore, or at least you think so. Yep, it’s the awkward stage in life. A time when your body and the brain just can’t quite stay in sync. Symptoms might be; your feet are outgrowing your body and you trip over, well, nothing but your other foot or knocking over your glass of coke at the supper table because your brain and hand are out of time.

Studies show a teenagers legs can grow one centimeter a month during a growth spurt. This means that the brain is having to recalibrate itself constantly. It was an awkward  time, but you survived.

Then you hit the mid-teen stage. The time you start knowing more than your parents. Yeah, ole’ “stick in the mud” Mom and Dad. Isn’t it amazing how little they know about life. Good thing they got you to help them out, huh.

Then one day, just as sure as that a pimple sprouted upon your forehead, those hormones start raging. That girl or boy in class suddenly appears pretty or handsome since you saw them last at the end of the school year.

The cliques start gathering in their little groups. You have the cool kid’s, the pretty kids, the bookworms, the mean ones and the jocks. Or if you were like me, you didn’t fit into any of those groups and found out that one or two close friends were all you needed.

Finally, the day you waited for… The license to drive, which translates into a license to be officially cool. Thank the lord kids today don’t have the hotrods we had when I was a teenager. I bought my first car at 15, a 68′ GTO. I had that need for speed! I get chills thinking back to those days. Straightening the curves while doing a hundred. I swear sometimes I think I was on two wheels taking a curve.

The late teens are when you feel like your parents owe you everything, like a new car, giving you spending money, the finest clothes, and a college education. Then after all that, some teenagers decide the degree their parents spent so much money on, is not what they want to pursue in life.

Steps you take now could set the stage for the rest of your life, but you don’t know that yet. You will come to so many crossroads. Should you take the left, the right, go straight or spend a couple of more years thinking about it? Whichever one you take, in the years to come, you will always wonder if you took the right one. That’s whats funny about life, there is no right road. Some are a lot better than others, but they all have times of happiness and sorrow. You just have to learn to smooth out the bumps on whatever road you’re on.

As your twenties and thirties roll by, you have the world by the tail. You like what you see in the mirror. You think you are Superman or Wonder Woman. Father Time seems to move slow, and old age is not really noticeable in your reflection.

Then one day you wake up and you’re 40. For some people, it’s nothing more than a few more candles on the cake, for others, life is on a downhill slide. I personally didn’t care. My outlook was… at least I made it. I can look at my high school yearbook and find many people that weren’t as fortunate as me as to make it to 40 years old.
At this age, you start taking a glancing look at that distant horizon. It’s starting to reflect more and more in the mirror, but you shrug it off and move on.

In what seemed like the span of two years, a weird thing has happened… you blinked and ten more candles were added to the cake. It can’t be, I’m a half a century old! This is not supposed to be happening to me, this only happens to everyone else.

Something is wrong. You feel aches and pains you’ve never had. Clairol is now one of your closest friends. Akins, Slimfast, and Nutrisystem are other associates you know, but they tend to stretch the truth, and you’re getting tired of their company. Your babies are all grown up and don’t need you as much as they once did.
Thanks to the internet, you now have become a doctor and have come to realize that you are dying of every disease known to mankind and won’t last another year. You look at your reflection in the mirror and Father Time is getting closer now, and you can start making out his details and it makes you sad.
Then you hit 56. That is my age now. For some of you, it’s still young, for others, I’m over the hill.

I know that I’m passed the mid-point in my life. I guess you would say I’m living in that horizon that used to seem so far away. It’s not a big deal. The sun is still over my head and I hope it doesn’t set for many years to come.

Did I take the right or wrong crossroad years ago? I never really think about it. Would I change things from the past? Yeah, a few things, but not much.

The greatest thing about aging is my new friend that slowly appeared in life and goes by the name of “Wisdom.” That’s the greatest gift we receive in getting older. The sad part is that it comes late in life, after we’ve lived in the times where we needed it most! Wouldn’t it be great if we were born with it?
With wisdom, I learned not to sweat the small stuff. The little things I used to worry about, never enters my mind today. Health and family are all that really matters to me.

Sure, I’ve had my sorrows and setbacks, but I can honestly say, I’ve had a near perfect life.
It’s funny how when I was young, I would look to the dreams of the future, and now that I’m older, I daydream about the past. I can hear an old Eagles song or catch a whiff of something frying in the kitchen and instantly transform my mind back to a certain place and time.

I’m as content at this point in my life as I could have ever asked for, I have no wants. So why do I think about the past so much?

I read an article where the author wrote; We hold onto moments that have affected us, moments that were hard for us or emotionally difficult, and we also hold onto what we don’t understand. Nothing could be further from the truth for myself. I think back to “the good times.” I love to think of my wonderful childhood and also my adventures as a young adult. I’ve always chased after life. I didn’t wait for it to knock on my door. My wife always tells me, “I’m like a cat with nine lives, and I’ve used up seven.”

My biggest regret is sleep. Yep, you heard me right. Sleeping is a waste of time. The average person sleeps a third of his life. What! My motto has always been “you can sleep when you die”.

More and more I’m starting to use phrases like; “you wait until you get my age” or “back in the day we used to.” The stories from the “old folks” are starting to sound eerily similar to mine.
I secretly research places where I can get a senior citizens discount.
Car keys magically move from where I put them last.
The word “perfect” is slipping from my vocabulary, and “good enough” is replacing it.
I receive gifts from myself all year long, as I find my tools scattered all over the farm that I thought were lost forever, but in reality, I just forgot where I used them last.
I don’t need to hang out with a lot of friends. My best friend is me and I like me.

My family and I were in a restaurant the other day when several elderly people walked by. They looked to be in their eighties. I looked at my 13-year-old son and said; “see those people walking by, they were once your age”. He looked at me with a puzzled look, but before he could say anything, I remarked, in a blink of an eye you will be their age. I said they also have more wisdom than anyone in this room and to always respect them.
No matter how old you are in life you can always learn from the elderly. Take the time to listen to their stories, their wisdom and learn.

The next time you look in the mirror, smile and realize how lucky you are to still be walking this earth.

Below are 15 things I try to live by.

1. Be thankful for every day God gives you on this earth.
2. Set small goals throughout life and do your best to achieve them.
3. Enjoy the little things in life.
4. Understand that you can do anything in life if you have the right mindset
5. Live for today, not the past and don’t worry about the future,
    because yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is not guaranteed.
6. Don’t waste your life sleeping.
7. Enjoy today, as it will never come again.
8. Don’t be afraid to fail, just learn from your mistakes.
9. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do,                 than by the ones you did do.
10. Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.
11. Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions
12. Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.
13. Ask yourself this question, will this matter a year from now?
14. If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
15. But most of all… Don’t Blink or you will miss out on life

This entry was posted in Everyday Life.
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