Wishing you health, happiness and prosperity in the New Year.
Do you remember the Back to the Future movies? Michael J. Fox starred in these three blockbuster films in the 1980s. As we look forward to a new year and the second half of our lives, this title has major implications. Sometimes we plan our future by looking only at our past. If we had trouble learning French in high school, we are not “cut out” to learn French now and besides that, we are too old. If we always felt like a klutz dancing, no way could we learn the tango in anticipation of our trip to Italy next summer. Using our past limitations to modify our dreams for the future restricts the possibilities we have to create a future filled with wonder and amazement.
We sometimes even borrow limitations from our friends and family. Since our mom and dad and aunts and uncles all developed memory problems as they aged, it is only a matter of time that we will too. If we forget where we put the car keys now, we think that this problem will only get worse as we get older.
Dr. Michael Merzenich, a neurophysiologist at the University of California writes, “People don’t understand the extent to which brain health is under their control. We have the ability at any point in our life to do the right things to maintain brain fitness and keep our memories.”
As I have written in my book, Keep Your Fork: Dessert Is On The Way -Savoring the Second Half of Life some of the right things are to laugh more, maintain your sense of curiosity, constantly renew your sense of purpose and be actively grateful. There are some great websites such as brainhq.com and luminosity.com that have fun and very beneficial activities. When I was feeling a little shakey driving last spring I used a program in brainhq.com to exercise quickness in response while driving.
We need to question everything we have ever learned about getting older. There is too much new thought emerging every day to limit our lives to old myths. There is a joke about a husband asking his wife why she always cut the ham in half before she put it in the oven. She said that it was the correct way because her mother had always done it that way. The next time he spoke with his mother-in-law, her husband asked why cutting the ham in half was important. She answered that she had always cut the ham in half because at that time her oven was so small there wasn’t room for a whole one.
Perhaps our New Year’s resolutions should begin with the commitment to see things differently. Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it time runs out.”
2018 holds more potential than we can imagine. Our earlier years have provided us with the courage and wisdom to see the present and future filled with possibilities. Let’s use those attributes and challenge ourselves this year to have the same experience that Mae West had,
“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”