In this ongoing series, LIFE IN FULL, we are writing to Baby Boomers (those of us in our 50s, 60s, and 70s) about how to maximize our Longevity and our Legacy. Find new episodes here every Tuesday and Thursday, and read the overview and catch up on earlier articles in this series by clicking here.
We have discussed in the earlier articles of this series what a wonderful time it is to be a “senior,” a “Baby Boomer.” We will live longer lives than any previous generation, and we have access to medical and technological advances that can make our lives full and productive far into the future. 65 is the new 45. At the age when earlier generations were retiring, we are looking for second careers or for Church missions or other ways of contributing and of enjoying family and of getting even more out of life.
And because of this extra lease on life that seniors now have, there is one little three-letter word can turn almost every statement of doubt or defeat into one of hope and health.
It is the powerfully proactive and future-oriented word “Yet.” And we can use it in a wide profusion of different, optimistic ways:
“My portfolio really isn’t adequate for retirement…………yet.
“I haven’t been able to work in the Temple as much as I would like………….yet.
“My relationship with my son is not very good……….yet.
“I am just not in very good physical shape……………..yet.
“I have not been able to serve a full time mission…………yet.
“I don’t have the kind of freedom and flexibility I thought I would have……..yet.
“Our extended family is not very close………..yet.
“I just haven’t ever developed my interest and talent in music……….yet.
“I don’t get to church as often as I should……….yet.”
The final third or fourth of life, a twenty or twenty five year “bonus” that no other generation has ever had is a time to steadily and joyfully take care of the “yets.”
For most of us, there is still plenty of time, and we don’t have to try to fix everything at once, yet we can set some goals, and reel in all of those yets one at a time.
Take any part of your life you are not satisfied with it and orchestrate a plan to repair it. Use the extra time that science and diet and technology gives you and take care of whatever it is that you wish you had done or that you wish you had done differently. We are not talking about quick-fixes here—just about deciding on what you want to fix, and then doing it!
And there is another way that we can use that same little word “yet” which can change our attitudes and make us more positive and hopefully. As you think of yourself and of your strengths and weaknesses you can use the magic word to pair-up and compensate for everything you don’t feel good about with something you do feel good about:
“I’m less than confident in front of an audience, yet I’m totally comfortable one on one.
“I really should make more of an effort to stay in touch with old friends, yet I’m pretty good at responding to emails and social media contacts.
“I don’t consider myself a Church scholar, yet I feel that I know and understand the Plan of Salvation.
“I’m lousy at remembering birthdays yet I really reach out at Christmas.
“I’m not much of a golfer, yet I’m probably the best tennis player in the group.
“I’m not eating as judiciously as I should yet I do get to the gym twice a week.
“I’m still too self-centered, yet I do put Jen’s needs ahead of mine more often than I used to.”
Sometimes just reminding ourselves that we probably have a corresponding plus to go with every minus is what can cause us to feel some balance and confidently go from strength to strength as we try to at least neutralize our faults.
So lets love when we live; lets take the bonus years we are given; lets parlay all that we do have into more of the things we still want; and lets do it all not only for ourselves but for our children and our grandchildren and all the others whom we have power to inspire and help!
Tune in again next week as the new year begins and as we discuss on Tuesday how we can slow time down a bit and on Thursday how we can become “champions” for our grandkids.