WHEN he was 102 years’ old, George Carlin offered the following wisdom that is deeply relevant for us all. If you don’t read this to the very end, you have lost a day in your life, and when you have finished, reflect and put it into practice.
Do you realise that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than ten years’ old, you’re so excited about ageing that you think in fractions. ‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m four-and-a-half!’ You’re never 36-and-a-half. You’re four-and-a-half, going on five! That’s the key.
You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. ‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m going to be 16!’ You could be 13, but hey, you’re going to be 16! And then the greatest day of your life … you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. You become 21… yessss! But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He turned; we had to throw him out. There’s no fun now, you’re just a sour dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed?
You become 21, you turn 30, then you’re pushing 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it, you reach 50 and your dreams are gone. But wait!!! You make it to 60. You didn’t think you would!
So you become 21, turn 30, push 40, reach 50 and make it to 60. You’ve built up so much speed that you hit 70! After that, it’s a day-by-day thing; you hit Wednesday! You get into your eighties and every day is a complete cycle; you hit lunch; you turn 4.30; you reach bedtime. And it doesn’t end there. Into the nineties, you start going backwards: ‘I was just 92’. Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. ‘I’m 100-and-a-half’!
May you all make it to a healthy 100-and-a-half!!
HOW TO STAY YOUNG
1) Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them
2) Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down
3) Keep learning – learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening … whatever. Never let the brain be idle
4) Enjoy the simple things
5) Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath
6) The tears happen. Endure, grieve and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life is ourselves. Be alive while you are alive
7) Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants and hobbies … whatever. Your home is your refuge
8) Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help
9) Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country, but not to where the guilt is
10) Tell the people you love that you love them at every opportunity.
And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
A prayer for acceptance
***Dear Gracious and Loving God, as I take this time to be still, help me to let go of anxiousness and feel your peace. Your Word says that you are love, and where there is love there can be no fear. Help me to let go of fear and receive your perfect love. I come before you with heaviness because of being hurt by others. Help me to accept the effect that their actions have had in my life and to let go of this hurt. Holding onto past hurts – holding onto resentments and judgments weighs me down. I release this hurt. I release this weight on my body and spirit. I ask your love to carry me. I let go of hurt, resentment and judgment. I forgive those who have hurt me. Because I practice awareness in all areas of my life, I am aware of self-criticism or poor choices. I accept my actions. I forgive myself and let go of poor choices or self-criticism. To receive or accept love, I let go of building walls of self-protection. Help me to receive and accept love. Help me to freely give love. Help me not to strive for perfection, but to make progress each day. I accept the choices I make. I can trust myself. I make good choices. Each day, help me to step into the glorious person you created me to be. I accept and find comfort in knowing that I am completely loved with your divine, perfect love. In the name of your Son, whose example lights our way, Amen.***