Getting older often has us reflecting more on the past than the future. Well, it’s time we stopped. The past was a good reference point as we went through life to determine what worked best as a parent, an employee, heck even as entrepreneurs It taught us what actions were acceptable when we were kids, and helped our parents to have a frame of reference as they raised us.
Today all the reference is now a forest that we no longer need to wander through. We have gone through it and have come out the other side, mostly unscathed and there is no doubt we all learned through that treck. But now that we are through it we need to get on the whatever the road head offers.
Now it is our turn to make history and to leave reference points for those coming up behind us. That doesn’t mean we have to do some huge thing. We don’t have to create the cure for cancer, although it would be nice. We don’t have to start a multinational company, we don’t even have to climb the corporate ladder unless of course, you want to. The point here is, for the most part, the expectations of what we do or accomplish are much lower from the perspective of other people. HOWEVER and this is a BIG, however, what we expect from ourselves should never be lowered.
Many people of put labels on what this getting older thing is. Jane Fonda proudly proclaimed it to be our Third Act. I beg to differ, our lives are not stage plays! Our lives and the fact we are getting old is no act. The only act is when we act old. So let’s not get lost in the forest again, or let’s not let people drag us back into the darkness of an old and forgotten tree. Let’s not portray that old man or lady in life’s play Jane claims us to be in.
Do you recall the song or phrase one songwriter wrote = if a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear? Well the goal of Doing Aging Different goal is to make sure everybody hears. And if we do fall it is here to ensure that the old tree stands up again, stronger and repurposed for what lies ahead.
Back in 2018 when he was asked by Toby Keith as they were golfing, how he managed getting older so well. He said (and I am paraphrasing) he gets up every morning and reminds himself to Not Let The Old Man In.
While on the surface it may not sound too profound, but when you look at the context more closely the true meaning start to be revealed.
But take a listen to the song Toby Keith wrote about Clint’s reply to his question.
So it becomes closely related to the the title of this post – Are you getting lost in the forest of life. To me, it says – don’t let the thoughts of getting older or being old seem into your thoughts. It is important to look a life still in wonderment of what it still has to offer. See life with the same eyes and mind you had when you were young.