Finding a Little Motivation Do you find yourself kinking up rather easily these days? Memory not what it used to be? As I lie in bed in the middle of the afternoon on a rather rainy Fourth of July, I got to thinking. Was I actually going to lounge around on a national holiday because of the weather? Where has my energy gone? Was I secretly relieved that the rain may excuse me from having to wear myself down during festivities? Then, as I let the claws of guilt get a hold of me to spring me from my afternoon slumber, I heard my husband declare from across the room, that the stiff body and lack of energy I was feeling was actually rigamortis setting in (thank goodness he could offer such encouraging words of motivation). But it did get me thinking. Memory loss? Yes. Because I am too busy. My mind is constantly focusing on things from family and home, to work, appointments and schedules. Alzheimer’s? No way, just busy that’s all. Tired? Yes. Because I am too busy. I try to fit as much as I possibly can in each day because I never know what wrench may be thrown the next day that could put me in a bind, so I have to stay ahead of the game. Then it hit me. Should I just start taking it easy? Cave to the inevitable. Sorry, I just can’t do it. I feel like if I slow down, I may never get back on track, so I always try to challenge myself. I may have a couple days that I have to recoup, but then it’s on. I get right back on track and set a new goal. I never pictured myself past my 40s, so in the coming years it’s going to get interesting. I just found out I have allergies and as much as it caught me by surprise, it wore me out in the blink of an eye. I don’t know exactly what I am allergic to yet, but I do know I’ve never had allergies before. The symptoms were severe enough that it warranted a trip to the doctors and some serious shots and medications. Things are changing and some things I will have to learn to manage, but others, I will simply keep pushing the envelope. Eat balanced meals, exercise and get rest. Sure, I will do it, but I am still going to have the junk, not beat myself up for missing a workout and I am certainly going to stay up late and do something fun. I mean, I actually said to my daughter last week, “I can’t believe I am taking you to a 9:30 movie on a work night.” Did that really just come out of my mouth? Yes, things are changing. Lessons have been learned along the way and I suppose, as I look back over the last couple years, they may have been some type of predictable omen. Like the time, in a dare from my daughter and her friend, I was asked if could I still do a cartwheel or a backhand spring. I was a cheerleader so, confidently, I said, “Of course.” Now picture it - an attempt at a cartwheel across the front lawn. This wasn’t so pretty and it really, really hurt, but I did it and they were impressed and I was quietly in pain. I’m not going to ever say I can’t, but I will always say I will try. I’m going to use this wealth of knowledge I have developed from living to make the most of it. I can’t beat it. I can make the best of it. Whether it be staying in that bed without feeling the guilt or getting up and going because I want to. It’s my choice and I think the best lesson I’ve learned along the way as I have aged is prioritizing. God, family, friends and home are all on the top of my list, but one thing I never placed at the top of that list was myself. I was always too busy. Lesson learned. Prioritizing oneself doesn’t have to be a selfish motivation; it is a necessity. After all, if we don’t prioritize ourselves then how will we be able to be healthy enough to place the needs of everyone and everything we care so much about at the top? We won’t because we won’t be there to do it if we keep letting ourselves come in last for the sake of everyone and everything around us. – Abraham Lincoln once said, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” Keep setting goals. Change with the times. Youth is not in a flawless complexion or an athletic physique. It is not found in the new college grad that just walked in and thinks he/she can now run the office, it’s not in the new mother making you wear a mask before holding her infant, talk to me after you’ve raised at least four; it’s in the soul. We hold all the wisdom of our accomplishments and mistakes. It’s in the book we have written in our minds from all our life experiences. It’s in our memories. Holding onto youth in a healthy way is perfectly OK and it doesn’t mean you have been defeated if you can’t quite do that cartwheel across the front lawn anymore, it just means things are changing and it’s time to find another way to grow and accomplish ambitions. So, when things are changing, don’t let it get you down. Pick yourself up, move it up, move it down, sideways, backwards or forwards. Just keep it going and don’t stop. I guess the mystery of not knowing what remains on our paths ahead can be scary, but being open to change is a great life motivator, too. I guarantee some things may take you by surprise that you wish you would have learned many years ago.