This cross stitch was a gift from my Mother to me. I’ve kept it near me wherever I’ve been living or working. After five careers and four states, I’ve finally retired, only to begin my sixth career: spiritual creativity expression. My Mother was a grandmother; now that “I are one too,” as many of the boomer generation has become, we can remember not only our own Nannies and Grammies, but also the Memaws and Mimis. We are pretty sure that the old way of being the older generation isn’t our cup of tea or chai. Our forever young age group is working to rewrite the definition of granny.
My mother learned to email and surf the net at age 80. I had to remind her on occasion about “double clink quick” to make the program open, but she managed to find a mercy flight for a child she knew that needed specialized medical care in a distant city. Age 80!!! My Mom kept her brain active up until her death at age 81 from pancreatic cancer.
I see people of all ages at my local YMCA who are in various stages of health and fitness. Not all of us have beautiful bodies, but all of us are working toward the goal of living more healthy day by day. Five years ago I couldn’t walk a mile, so I swam in the pool. Now I’ve progressed through walking to a slow jog on the track. My average speed is around 20 minutes per mile, but I can keep it up for an hour. I’m going to enter a 5K event this fall. I notice that I’m the oldest person registered for the event to date.
I think the loss of muscle tone isn’t inevitable, however, for “use it or lose it” still applies, whether we are speaking of our brain cells, our balance, our muscles, or our other skills. If we think that we are too old to start anew now, how much older will we be tomorrow?
Good health is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. Just as we lost muscle tone progressively (those bat wings), we regain it bit by bit by using those muscles intentionally. Yes, that’s work and sweat. It’s icky, I know, but if you don’t sweat when you work out, you aren’t really making those muscles work.
Good health also means that we respect our bodies: we can’t drive them to exhaustion as if they were demolition derby vehicles that were made to be destroyed. We each are given one body for this one life we have on earth. Caring for it by eating healthy foods and proper portions is one way we can ensure we have the best opportunity to carry our minds, hearts, sprits, and souls in a sturdy vessel. Not harming our bodies with addictive substances is another way we can care for our selves so that we can fulfill whatever calling God has placed on our hearts and lives.
Treat yourself well. Sleep well. Breathe. Care for yourself so that you can care for others. Love well and love often. Be generous with your smiles.
1 Corinthians 13:3
If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.