By Jim Sollecito
I have observed many friends and clients as we’ve all aged together. Personal fortunes have grown faster than some of their plants. Some are generous with their time and treasure. Some seem to tighten up.
Look, I get it. We all work hard. We put money away for a rainy day. Then all of a sudden it rains. And hopefully we’ve managed and planned so we don’t worry so much about paying bills as we sit in a doctor’s office. Instead, we’re concerned with the effects time has had on us. We don’t wonder whether the next test earns an A or a B, but whether it’s a pass or a fail.
I’m interested in how people choose to help others who are not as fortunate. Some balk or mumble or change the topic. It seems the older some people get and the more money they have, the tighter they try to hold onto it.
Will that wealth increase their lifespan? Probably not. It’s about the same as trying to squeeze hold of a fistful of sand. It eventually slips away.
Perhaps today is the time to start a few positive changes. I will share here some contemplations I’ve collected.
• Pain and discomfort go hand in hand with getting older. Try not to dwell on them but rather accept them as part of the cycle of life we are all going through. They are not who you are, they are something life added to you.
• Maintain as healthy a lifestyle you can without excess. Walk. Drink. Get regular checkups even if you are feeling well. Find a hobby that doesn’t beat you up. Fishing comes to mind. Or berry-picking. Perhaps even a little gardening. I get immense satisfaction from pulling a weed. If it’s in an especially hard-to-reach spot I use a teakettle of hot water to cook it in place.
• Now is the time to rekindle earlier hobbies. Or find new ones. Adopt a pet and feel love radiate back to you. Perhaps a cat or dog with a tongue that just won’t quit. Maybe a mesmerizing fish or entertaining hermit crab will fill the bill.
• Don’t stress over little things. You’ve already overcome much in your life. Don’t let the past drag you down. And don’t let the future frighten you. Feel good in the now and small issues will soon be forgotten.
• Laugh and laugh a lot.
• Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a long life. Take pride in who you are and your accomplishments. There is probably plenty more gas in the tank so use it to get you places where you can make an impact.
• Choose something that resonates with your profession, your childhood, or with the interests of your children or grandchildren. When your name is mentioned in the future, what words will follow? Now is the time to take action. You can influence your lasting legacy.
Jim Sollecito is the first lifetime senior certified landscape professional in NYS. He operates Sollecito Landscaping Nursery in Syracuse. Contact him at 468-1142 or firstname.lastname@example.org.