On my aging gracefully journey, I enjoy eating well; and by well I mean, eating healthy foods in healthy environments.

I’m blessed to live in Austin, Texas. Living here in central Texas, I’ve got quite a selection of restaurants and grocery stores from which to choose.

I love to go to Central Market on a Sunday evening for dinner. There’s live music and good food, both of which have a tendency to feed my soul.

Last night as I sat outside eating my dinner, I noticed kids playing on a nearby playground.

The kids were running around, having a great time, while their parents sat nearby sipping on their wine or engaged in conversation with adult friends at their tables.

I noted a young boy about 5 years old, having such fun climbing a pole. Suddenly a memory flashed before me.

There I was at Hillcrest School in 4th grade boys gym class, standing in line awaiting my turn to climb the pole.

Climbing the pole was not at the top of my list of favorite gym activities.

Why?

Because I struggled with climbing the pole. It was a real challenge for me to climb very far up the pole. My upper body just didn’t have the strength to pull me up; and I just couldn’t get the technique right for wrapping my legs around the pole and utilizing my feet most effectively.

The closer my turn came to climbing the pole, the more intense I became in telling myself the story, I’m too weak to climb the pole.

Through 4th and 5th grades, this was the story I told myself.

Even though each time I climbed the pole over those two years, I was climbing higher and higher. I didn’t adjust my story to, I’m getting better and better.

No, the story remained the same, and I struggled in my attempts in getting to the top of the pole and touching the ceiling tile.

And then one day in 6th grade, my turn came to climb the pole. I inched my way up the pole. I listened to my friends, encouraging me onward and upward in my quest to touch the ceiling tile.

My friends cheered, You can do it, Bobby!

Their voices were so loud that they drowned out the story I had been telling myself, and my story script suddenly shifted gears to, Yes, I can climb up the pole!

That day for the very first time I climbed to the top of the pole and touched the ceiling tile!

From that day on and throughout 6th grade when my turn came to climb the pole . . . the story I told myself was, Yes, I can climb up the pole!

And I did.

My dinner last night at Central Market nourished me in numerous ways.

In particular, the young boy climbing the pole served as a reminder to me of the power in the stories I tell myself.

Now in Act 3 of my life, I’m actively participating in my journey of aging gracefully.

I recognize I’m consciously choosing to age gracefully, and a key ingredient in aging gracefully is found in the food for thought I feed myself.

Yes, there is power in telling myself stories . . . stories that feed me a steady diet of encouraging words . . . encouraging words for living life in the plus 50 years.

Yes, there is power in telling myself stories that lift my spirits up, up, and up, providing me with a higher perspective on life and enabling me to see the magnificence of my ordinary life.

Loving you,

Robert, aka Bob

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