I am going to start a new category called “Don’t Sweat It” It will be primarily based on the books by Richard Carlson one of most popular is entitled DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. With all the myriad of books that Carlson put out I am surprised that he missed one major group. So, starting with this post I will be pulling out some of the topics from a couple of these books and try to put a senior citizen twist on them. No, I am not a Ph.D. or as motivational as Carlson but I am a senior citizen so maybe I have some insight that he doesn’t.
Learn to Live in the Present Moment
From: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
For those of us who study the Bible we realize that this comes from the New Testament. Jesus tells us to live in the moment; don’t worry about the future as it will take care of itself. He also mentions that the past is the past; learn from it but don’t get fixated on it. Mr. Carlson takes up on that message to say that many of us have mastered the neurotic area of spending our lives worrying about things. (I think he had my wife in mind when he said that 🙂 )He also points out that many people live their lives as if it were a dress rehearsal for some later date.
Human beings are the only ones in the world with a large frontal lobe on our brains. It has been discovered that this area of the brain is primarily responsible for thinking about the future. So basically it is in our very nature for us humans to think about the future. That is one of the primary things that make us human. We are constantly thinking about and projecting ourselves into the future.
Now let me bring in some senior prospective. I know that I personally am a “planner”. All my life I have constantly thought about the future. If I couldn’t plan I just don’t know how I would exist 😉 I, unlike my wife, don’t worry that much about the future but it is more that I need to have some control over it. I guess I have a bigger frontal lobe than she does; at least I know I have a bigger head (ha). But thinking about the future brought on one of the more serious episodes when I started retirement life. There just didn’t seem to be much in my future besides living day to day. All the perceived important milestones in my life had been accomplished! I don’t know that I have really even yet come to full terms with this idea but at least now I do recognize that fact. Realizing that there is now much more past than there is future was a dramatic reality to be grasped.
So from a senior perspective I try to live in today as much as possible. If I were to always be concentrating on the future the present would slip by without enough notice. And of course no matter what we do we are always in the present, never the past or the future. That is not to say that I don’t have dreams of the future. There are still many things I would like to do before the Lord calls me home. They are just don’t have life changing potential as they used to. Don’t sweat it that most of your milestones are in the past. It is not a big deal; for the most part just enjoy life as it comes your way.
And the journey goes on….