This month's theme is vitality. I firmly believe the key to vitality is having a positive mindset. One of my favorite quotes is, "Change your attitude, change your world." It's a simple concept based on the fact that your entire life is defined by the way you choose to think about things. Here are a few examples:
1. I have a friend who has extreme road rage. She can drive as little as three miles and encounter at least two or three jerks on the road. If I'm riding with her, I never notice these so-called jerks-probably because I'm not a road-rager, but mainly because I'm not looking for them. It's amazing that we always find that which we seek. If you're looking for jerks, you'll find them. If you're not, you won't. It's truly that simple. I have no clue why people choose to work themselves into rage every time they drive. It's so unnecessary.
2. I have another friend who is 51. She has decided she's old. Again, this is a mindset. Sometimes when I talk to her, it's like her life is almost over. It drives me crazy. I'm only a few years behind her, and I feel like my life is just starting, so it's hard for me to relate. I understand that different people approach things in different ways, but I believe in the following philosophy: "You don't become what you want, you become what you believe." In other words, if you think you are old, then you are. This thought pattern can't be good for you-it weakens you and truly makes you age quicker. I think being middle-aged is awesome. It's a time when character traits such as savviness, smartness, bravery, confidence, vulnerability, independence, and boldness can all start working together, without ego trumping them or awkwardness squelching them. Sure, my kids can think I'm old, but they haven't seen anything yet! I don't care how old you are physically; you're only as old as you think.
3. On Saturdays, I like spending the morning at the club. At first I would go for 7:30 a.m. spin class and leave. However, as I got to know my fellow spinners, there was one gentleman in my class, Alan, who at age 70-something, has no problem keeping up. I soon learned that after spin class, he stays for the weight class, the Pilates class and the water aerobics class. That's right, he does four classes in a row. I was inspired. I started sticking around for weights and Pilates, too. I marvel at Alan. He's up and down off the mats as quickly as anyone else. He doesn't care that most of the time he's the only guy or that he's usually the oldest. Alan is just one of us. It's not that Alan is a phenom, it's his mindset. He decided he can do it.and that's exactly what he does!
4. As I was getting out of my car one morning at Massengale Park on St. Simons beach, I met a lady who was approaching the car next to mine. She was a beautiful older woman, probably in her late 80s. She had been walking her dog, who had the telltale signs of old age-the slow gait, the grayed muzzle. I ask the dog's name, and the lady explained that her gal was getting old; they could only walk 30 minutes now, because that was about all the old dog could do. Just the fact that the two of them still came to the beach and did what they could do was inspirational to me. As we wrapped up our small talk, and I headed off towards the beach, I turned to watch the two of them drive away. They were in an old Mercedes-Benz, probably more than 25 years old. All three of them were shining examples of "just do it" and I thought to myself, "There goes three determined broads." It's all a mindset.
So once again, change your attitude, change your world; rock your attitude, rock your world. It's completely your choice. That's right: you get to decide. When you start looking for the best, it will appear in places you never dreamed. And, when you stop looking for the worst, it will magically disappear. How cool is that?
P.S. Did you know it's impossible to smile and feel anger at the same time? Smile on, and...