Most of us will never be famous. We won't write a best-selling novel. We won't become president or have a hollywood acting career. We won't invent a life-saving device or drug or discover a cure for cancer. We won't be well-read, extremely educated, or world-traveled. Most of us. We all know someone who can say they have done at least one or some of these things, but the majority of the people in the world today would fit into the categories of the unknown, the un-accomplished, and the unheard. The just-tryin-to-get-thru-the-day kind of folks.
But before you think this is a post about the insignificance of the average human on earth, let me reassure you -- it is anything but that! If you know much about me as a person, you know that (most of the time) I am extremely positive, very friendly, happy for simple things, and always ready to offer encouraging words. And that just might be enough.
We all have a following. We have followers who follow because it's their duty as our family or good friend. We also have unknown followers who are continuously watching us...to see how we act in trying and hard times...to see how we "re-act" in the face of adversity...to see if we're practicing what we're preaching. So for the sake of this post, I'm gonna say we all have our own personal fan clubs. We all have people for whom, even though we may not be famous or accomplished, we might just be the best person they know... the person who's trustworthy... the person they run to when there's trouble and need a prayer... the person they think of when they need a good example to follow. And I consider that kind of life one that is worthy and making a difference...even if it's behind the scenes -- well, especially if it's behind the scenes.
Milestones have always thrown me into "deep-thinking" mode. And as much as I'm wary to admit it (I mean, what is the alternative?), I've been in deep-thinking mode since I passed over into the official "twilight" years. I turned 65 recently and, even though I consider myself a "spry" senior and in fairly good health, I know that there are only so many more birthdays I will celebrate on this earth. So it's had me thinking...Have I done enough in my life? Have I accomplished my goals and have I even had worthy goals? Have I stepped up to the plate and tried my best to love unconditionally, be kind, and pass those traits on to my children, grandchildren, and others? Well, I can tell you first and foremost that no, I have not done that a good portion of the time. I've had many moments of selfishness instead of selflessness, many harsh words instead of kind ones, and a million other things I could wallow over in regret. I've had crappy attitudes (for which I've paid a great price), made crappy decisions (for which I've paid an even greater price), and at times been just plain ol' crappy in general. But now I'll get to the good part. I can see a lot of good times, good efforts, good relationships, and just good ol' life in my 65 years. I have a million memories of being in the right place at the right time, making good choices, saying the right thing in the right timing, and just overall moments that thankfully stick in my heart more than the crappy ones. We are all human and, just like the Good Book says, none are perfect and we are all crappy (well, not said exactly like that!).
There are so many things in my life today that I could not do as a younger person. I can speak my mind (nicely, with kindness of course) and feel no guilt because I have learned a lot about what is truth and what is best, and I've gained a lot of wisdom. When you know truth, it really doesn't matter if people agree; it just matters that you share it and take responsibility for passing it on to others. I do the work I love now because some of the things I thought mattered when I was younger (like prestige and applause and impressing people) no longer wear me down. I know they are fleeting anyway and never bring happiness. I don't worry nearly as much about what people think because I can't change it anyway. Some will not like you no matter what you do. And if you think everyone will like you, then you, my friend, need a little more time on this earth to learn the truth of that one. What brings happiness? Just being yourself. Being the person God created you to be (warts and all) and allowing Him to mold you into that person who will be someone's hero one day.
And that is the key word. Someone's hero. It doesn't matter if you're everyone's hero, just the ones God has put in your life along the way that He assigns just to you. Did you know that you might be the one person who can make a difference in certain people's lives? I know, sometimes that feels a bit daunting. But if we focus on the ones God allows in our circle and the ones he pushes us toward outside our comfort zone, then for the most part you can feel fulfilled and accomplished as you enter your twilight years like me. And, believe me, it will be here before you know it! I work with children now, something I never thought I would want to do when I was younger, but now feel it just might be my calling. A hard day in preschool is better than a great day somewhere else! Those babies give me life and what I invest in them is never-ending. I write because I enjoy it for myself -- it's my outlet and if someone chooses to read along, then all the better. I spend a great deal of my time reading and traveling to those exotic places in the stories. I take pictures when I'm inspired and only when I want to and never because I have to. I renovate houses not because I want to impress someone but because I enjoy it (and also for the $!). I mean, a girl has to make a living!
And one of the best parts of being older? I can eat that second cookie or that bowl of ice cream and not worry about my middle too much! So what if my waist is no longer swimsuit-ready, who cares?! Life is short -- eat the cookie! But "take a little exercise," as the old folks used to say. I even make exercise something I enjoy. No running miles or treadmills for me. Give me some soothing yoga stretches or a long walk in the woods. Watch out, Medicare, here I come!!
Whatever your age, I wish you blessings as you morph into your beautiful one-of-a-kind butterfly, as you grow more solid and sturdy as an ancient sequoia, as you do the things that truly bring you joy and give life to others, and as you share those things of life with your unseen fan club.
Because they're there...somewhere...watching and waiting for their hero to step up.
"We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up ... discovering we have the strength to stare it down."
- ELEANOR ROOSEVELT
Posted by CC
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