I’m a muse and one of my clients is an 80-year old man in Boynton Beach. As a muse, my role is to inspire him to love life and overcome the trappings of an abusive childhood. Recently we were talking and he was bemoaning the fact that there were these ‘chores’ he had to do. He had to get air in his tires and make this and that stop for these and those things. He was inviting me to his pity-party of feeling sad that he’s alone (his beloved wife passed three years ago) and these things fall to just him to handle. It was a watershed moment. Would he succumb to the sadness or could I somehow elevate him out of that doldrum?
I was quiet, allowing the moment to percolate when it occurred to me that it wasn’t that he got to do these things’, it was that he gets to do them. I shared this revelation with him, and his confused expression said it all. “OK”, I said it again. “You don’t got to do these things, you get to do them.” I elaborated, “You are blessed with two legs and two arms that work, you can walk up and down stairs, you walk for an hour most days, you prepare meals for yourself, you can drive, you feel well. You are physically capable of doing these things, so instead of thinking that it’s something you have to do as a burden, consider that it is a privilege and a blessing to be able to do them.” His face lit up. “I understand! I don’t got to do them, I get to do them! I can see what you mean. I never thought of it like that!”
What shifted for him was simply his perspective. He looked at the same circumstance through a different lens – that of gratitude – which led to him feeling empowered and uplifted. The burden was lifted, replaced by a sense of satisfaction.
What is it in your life that burdens you? What is it that you think you GOT to do that might just shift radically by realizing that you GET to do it? Are you suffering the indignity of aging, or are you looking for and seeing the opportunities, advantages and blessings of this chapter of life? Often, a simple shift of perspective can relieve suffering and bring unexpected fulfillment and joy.
Be a Savvy Senior! Look through the lens of gratitude and focus on the blessings in your life. Recognize that you don’t GOT to do anything, you GET to do it. Then enjoy how things shift for the better.
Anne Goldberg, The Savvy Senior is a muse with a mission to help seniors know they are old enough to have a past and young enough to have a future – at any age. Anne helps seniors live into that future with purpose and vitality. She inspires individuals to get out of their own way towards a happier future; she teaches smart phones (iPhone/Android) and PCs and is an accomplished story-teller though videos that preserve the stories and wisdom of your life for future generations.