“To those whom much is given, much is expected.” Anonymous, Holy Bible: King James Version
Many years ago when I turned 50, a client asked me my feelings about reaching this momentous age. Enthusiastically, I responded with “I am alive.” Now being closer to 60, I realize how blessed it truly is to be alive, healthy, energetic and free. Obviously, without living, none of the other three would matter, but here I am joining the hundreds of thousands of like-minded individuals expressing gratitude and appreciation as the new year comes upon us. Living in the 21st century is truly glorious as I have written in other blogs. Always one to be inquisitive, the wonder and capacity of human ingenuity never ceases to amaze me. In addition, to live another day is a gift which I have never taken for granted having family and friends who are disabled. It is one of the reasons the above-mentioned biblical quote resonates with me. Even if one is of another faith or of no faith, how can that quote not at least give pause to those whom have been most fortunate.
Going into the 2016, I continue on my life’s journey with zest and optimism as many of you do. I hope to create, achieve and maintain purpose and meaning. As a therapist, I am most humbled by the wonderful people who trust me to share their secrets, dreams, goals and, at times, anguish. Schooling provided me with a foundation in my younger, more naive years, but much of my education has been derived from listening to the wisdom and strengths of remarkable people. Most important, it reminds me of always being open to the possibilities and the exquisite uniqueness of each human being. Everyone is capable of change even at an older age. Just because it is easier to learn a foreign language in one’s youth does not mean it is impossible in later decades. In fact, those who believe circumstances will never be favorable because of the arduous struggles endured throughout much of their life, I suggest you read Rabbi Harold Kushner’s book Overcoming Life’s Disappointments which gave me comfort many years ago. One statement which has always reverberated is the following: Life is like a baseball game. Sometimes the best part is the last few innings.
One does not know the future and cannot predict the preciseness of events to come. Most important is to remain positive and aspire to be whomever you are meant to be. Staying present and savoring any magnificent moment should be front and center while remaining steadfast in hope for what is to unfold. If you choose, continue to dream and plan. In my opinion, it does not stop until we are halted. The great Henry Wadsworth Longfellow states it with eloquence in the last stanza of his majestic poem “A Psalm of Life:”
Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait.
Happy New Year!!!!
References and Suggested Readings:
Kushner, H.(2006). Overcoming Life’s Disappointments. New York: Knopf.