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Thoughts During My Time Away

Thoughts During My Time Away

By Mike Harland.

So, as many of you know, I’ve been traveling a bit the last couple of weeks. Some of it was for business and some of it for pleasure. This past weekend, I went down to D.C. for a day and then Richmond, VA for one of my son’s soccer tournaments.

All in all, it was a great time. We were able to see a bunch of monuments and the Air and Space Museum, along with a Capitals game last night. In Richmond, we had a couple of games each day, my youngest also came so there was play time with him, we all hung out at night, and I don’t think we stopped from the time we arrived in D.C.

Thinking about everything we did and I start to think about the quality of life I want to have – and all of the factors that allow for a great quality of life.

Physical – I want to be able to do everything I did this weekend well into my later life. I want to be able to walk, jog, or run after my kids or grandkids when I get older. I want to be able to go places and not worry about how much walking or activity there will be. I want to be able to pick things up off of the ground, especially myself if I fall.

Sometimes I think too many of us take for granted the fact that we can move (fairly) well at the moment. But what if I asked you to run around a track 1 time, could you do it? How would you feel, and could you do that 2, 3, or 4 times? Remember when you were a kid and that wouldn’t have been an issue at all? Well, it still shouldn’t be. The only difference is that we’ve stopped taking care of ourselves and have allowed ourselves to be ok with the fact that we’re falling apart. “We’re old”, right… No, change your mindset and make sure you’re taking care of yourself.

Mental – We are never going to make it to 100 if we don’t have a strong mind. This is why I will continue to learn. I’ll read, or attend workshops, or challenge myself in some way to stay sharp. Cognition and motor function are going to be important as we age, so like exercise, our brains are something we need to workout.

Emotional – We’re never going to make it to 90 if we’re emotional wrecks. Stress is going to take it’s toll on us and if we’re not working on being happy, then we’re slowly settling for a miserable ending to our already short lives. There is no reason that we can not be emotionally strong and if there is something interfering in that, then that needs to be removed.

Think about this – If you’ve got 5 apples but one of them is just completely rotten, what will you do with it? Are you going to eat it? If you did, do you think you would enjoy it and that it would make you happy? I’d assume the answer is overwhelming no, we’d throw it away because it’s not going to serve us the way it needs to. And we’re ok with that, right? We’ve still got 4 more really good apples and they will continue to make me happy. It’s a simple analogy, but such a strong one. Remove the bad apples of your life and enjoy all of the good ones. That’s where our energy should go.

Spiritual – This is something I’ve added in for myself but I think it’s a huge part to a long, healthy life. Have you ever felt hopeless and like nothing will ever be good again? If not, bless you, but I have and with nothing to believe in and nothing to look forward to, life can seem pretty dim. So each night I’ve added in a prayer of sorts. I take a few moments to focus on what I’m grateful for and what I’ve been blessed with. I think about my family, friends, and community, and I think about what I want to work on that’s positive. This allows me to go to bed with a clear mind and a full heart. I can’t tell you how much this cleansing helps me and I believe aids me.

Conclusion – What do you want for yourself? I want to live a long, full life. I want to experience everything I can. I want to be close to people that make me truly happy and I want to be able to fully function in any situation with those people. That only happens if I workout everything I talked about above.

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