this whole life thing can be confusing and can leave us just sitting there not knowing what to do or what to think about it all. but i think the one rule of thumb for getting through the idea of thinking about life is to not ponder on it too long. if we do ponder on why things happen and what is happening – it will leave us frustrated. this includes all the stages we go through and our kids go through – from youth to adulthood to old age. it is easier to ponder your own trip through these stages because you are personally living in these stages and you won’t feel sad about going from stage to stage – you will accept it rather quickly. you will say “wow, it is going fast and i am getting old” – but you will accept it – you have to. on the other hand – when it comes to accepting your kids going through these same stages – and you are there guiding them through the youth to adulthood stage – it can be more difficult to accept. you don’t want to see them grow up but you do want them to grow up. it not only accentuates your own march to the end but it just hits your heart to let go more and more. that is why we must not ponder on this too much – it will only hurt and confuse us more. you will ponder a bit – but then quickly move on with life. this is out of our control so no need to waste too many feelings in this area. each stage is exciting – so enjoy it, accept it – and don’t ponder for long – not healthy.
if you have run a marathon or know about marathons, then you know that in every marathon, there is a wall. this is a wall that you must bust through in order to go on and finish the race successfully – which means crossing the finish line. everyone knows the analogies between life and marathons – the idea that life is a marathon. if you can live your life like you run a marathon, then there is a good chance you can make it through with some success and satisfaction. but it is very hard to think and live in these terms. how can you look at life, think of it as a marathon, and then act in the way a marathon is run. it is hard to do. you are in the moment and you want to jump, shout, talk, move, etc. you don’t want to be patient, calm, reserved, etc. – like you would in a marathon. but in reality, you must learn to think and act this way – no matter what. you will do it on your own or you will be forced to do it – to live life like a marathon. this brings us to the wall of every marathon and of every life. it is there waiting for you to bust through or not bust through. and this wall sits in your 40’s. the 40’s is the most challenging decade. you are through the experimental 20’s, the getting used to adulthood 30’s, the fun 40th birthday time period. time starts to run out and you can just start to see the end of the tunnel – years down the road, but now you notice it. you have the most burdens in life – kids, bills, middle marriage years, career challenges, time flying by very fast, kids moving to the exit, prep for college costs, retirement only 20 yrs away – it is a crazy time. this is why the 40’s represent the wall of life’s marathon. this is why you must recognize the wall, this is why you must keep moving and bust through the wall. knowing that the wall is there and that it is supposed to be there during this time – will help you get through it. all marathoners know the feeling of getting through the wall and they know how hard it is to get through the wall. you can either keep running through the wall or stop and walk through the wall. either way – see the wall, recognize the wall, get through the wall. it should be better on the other side – just like in the marathon race.
no one knows what a person has gone through in life except that person. when you come across an older person and that person is grouchy you wonder why are they grouchy. you might know some things about that person and this will give you an idea of why they might be grouchy when they are older. this person is obviously unhappy and they have seen their life as not going the way they wanted or expected. they then become grouchy all of the time and it affects the people around them. but because they are older, you let most of it go. but it does start to put a lasting stain on all of the good memories you have had with that person over the years. you try to talk to them – to tell them to not worry so much and to enjoy the time they have left. but in reality you can’t convince them to be happy – there is no use in trying because their mind is already set into being sad, upset, worrisome and grouchy. they might be happy here and there but it is too late to change their mindset – it has been in the making for decades and has now come out to the world as grouchy. it is sad to see but you can’t really do anything about it except hold your tongue and try not to agitate them. you can also learn from them. this is a lesson to you – that if you are lucky to reach the ripe old age that they have reached remember to not be grouchy – to not diminish all the strong family relationships you have in place – and have worked so hard at over the years. don’t be that grouch. enjoy your loved ones and stop feeling sorry for yourself and thinking about only you all the time. think about the younger people in your family and be happy for them. stop being selfish and stop being grouchy. stop it right now before it is too late.