Yesterday, my Grandpa and I were talking about his leg, injured in war decades ago. It’s a constant burden, striding with a braced orthopedic shoe, and now a walker and wounded pride about the man he wants to be, the one who lives in his head, who’s twenty years old, cocky, funny, brilliant.
Reminiscences coming to an end, he burst forth with, “Aging is a bitch.”
Pardon his swear, but I laughed outright.
Fueled by my outright guffaw, he went on to declare, “And anyone who says otherwise can suck it!”
If I’d been drinking something, it would have been projected, I tell you.
I’ve decided that aging takes Grit, and I don’t always have that.
I’ve had lots of serendipitous moments lately, telling me, yes, you need to bear down, follow through, stick with it, and the mental coach yells, “Do you want It, whatever that is? Do you want status quo? Don’t you want something fresh? New? Different??”
And I sigh, deeply. And nod. And mumble like a preschooler, eyes down, toe scuffing the ground. “Yes.”
And my coach yells, “Then put on your ‘grr’ face, my dear, let’s get going.”
I’m tired of my norm, tired of my own rut, and the only way out, the only way up, is to claw the earth, tamp the laze within, and change my own mind.
It’s is the hardest thing I do every day, change my own mind. Because I’m stubborn. And I’m older now than ever, which means I’m more tenacious than ever, which means I’m ignoring me more today than ever.
I’m my own worst everything.
It’s a conscious choice, to be nice to me, to elevate myself so that I can look me in the eye and tell me to dig in, do the work, follow through; face the fear, stomp it down, use it as a footstool to move ever upward.
Whew. It’s exhausting.
Each day — for the last week; don’t give me too much credit just yet; this is a process (“But I did it! I’m awesome! I’m a bad ass!” my inner coach yells) — I’ve done a tiny little somethin’-somethin’ that I really wanted to do but found excuses not to do. Because of laziness, or fear, or revulsion at the thought of rising from the couch to walk so far to the computer/worktable/front door.
Do you have something like that? A thing you know you want but golly, it seems so far to reach, or hard to get, or easy to talk yourself out of for today.
“Tomorrow,”you might say, every day.
Well. Aging is making today more urgent.
Five minutes. For just five minutes right now, do a tiny smackeral of a thing that you have yearned to do but let go.
Five minutes. What are five minutes?
(Unless you’re doing crunches; ugh, five minutes of crunches is a lifetime.)
Find your Grit!
And, truly — let’s talk Gratitude for a half second. It’s the Great G-Word.
If nothing else, I’m grateful for uncovering the idea of Grit, because sticking-with-it affects everything else: family, faith, work, and housework, just to name a few.
Gratitude to God above for it all.
Except maybe the sagging…everywhere…
(Did you do the thing you needed to for five minutes, just to get started, at least??)