Patrick M. Kennedy
Your feet are up resting on the rail of a balcony overlooking the ocean’s rolling tide, with the multi-colored glowing sunset shining on your smiling face. The birds are chirping on nearby green and budding trees and occasionally dark silhouettes of a few of them fly between you and the distant glow. You lean out from your lounge chair and set your favorite beverage on the small table next to you; you nestle down in the chair; you adjust the just-purchased sunglasses; you fold your arms; and you can’t help the smile on your face from growing longer and wider.
Pictures like this are dreams that have come true ; or dreams of wishes you hope come true . You have either worked hard to get there, or are now working hard to get there. Seniors and soon-to-be seniors have different levels of these pictures; either the full color of reality or the black-and-white of wishes yet to come true .
Pictures for seniors come in two forms; dreams of the future, and memories of the past. Dreams come from one source, hopes and wishes for a fine future. Memories come from dozens of sources and ages, both good and bad, and are building blocks for the excellent future. Some you can do and make come true , and some you can’t. As they say, ‘that’s when the rubber hits the road,’ some roll on and some don’t. “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort,” said Jesse Owens. Oh Oh! That sounds like work, and we seniors know from years of experience that nothing comes for free, or easy, and are handed to us on a silver platter. Whoops, there’s that sunset again beckoning to you from a distant vision lodged someplace in the memory bank of the brain. If it would only come true ; but the fact is, “You have to dream before your dreams can come true ,” said Abdul Kalam the former President of India and freedom fighter. The idea is to not disregard those dreams but use them for a plan for the future.
Now back to those memories. Memories are what we are or have been, and that is a fine place to start building the future. “Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them,” sang Bob Dylan, but that isn’t in actual fact true if you are a senior starting over and not a teenager fiddle-dee-deeing away the time waiting for the next memory. After all, a memory is the mental faculty of retaining and recalling past experience, the act or an instance of remembering; recollection. A senior probably remembers sitting on the balcony leaning against the railing on one day of vacation … it was heaven then and can be again with a little planning and foresight. The idea is for a senior to dig back into that memory bank and find those bits of heaven that ought to be created for the future, or at least given a good examination.
Or picture this; maybe what you are doing now is all you want to do. Feet up on your lounge chair, the TV on and maybe a book in your hand, and the freedom to do whatever, whenever you want to. You have your friends and family around you, the house is all paid for, your bowling or bridge team is winning, golf is something you have always wanted to learn or at least take more time perfecting that walk in the sun.
Or picture this – you can change if you want to; or you can stay the same if you want to.