By Steve Moran

How we view our life is a choice. This essay by Andy Stanley really hit home:

“Sometimes I just want it to stop. Talk of COVID, looting, brutality. I lose my way. I become convinced that this ‘new normal’ is real life. Then I meet an 87-year-old who talks of living through polio, diphtheria, Vietnam protests and yet is still enchanted with life.

He seemed surprised when I said that 2020 must be especially challenging for him. ‘No,’ he said slowly, looking me straight in the eyes. ‘I learned a long time ago to not see the world through the printed headlines, I see the world through the people that surround me. I see the world with the realization that we love big. Therefore, I just choose to write my own headlines:

“Husband loves wife today.” “Family drops everything to come to Grandma’s bedside.”’ He patted my hand. ‘”Old man makes new friend.”’ His words collide with my worries, freeing them from the tether I had been holding tight. They float away. I am left with a renewed spirit and a new way to write my own headlines.”

Primed for Negativity

As we go into 2022 we have been primed to be offended and pissed off about every little thing. Mostly those things fall into one of two categories:

  1. They are simply the things that make up life. Lines in grocery stores, airports, and gas stations. Bad or inattentive drivers. The quirks of those we love and live with, those we work for, and those who work for or with us. They are the quirks of our residents, our customers, and their families.  

    We forget that we too have quirks that annoy others. We forget that, for the most part, people are simply doing the best they can.
  2. They are politics and the media, who have a constant goal of making you mad, because they know that being mad is an addictive drug that keeps you coming back for more. Which allows them to sell more advertising and gets you to come back for another fix.

Mostly Though

They are things you can do nothing about. We are always going to have lines and annoying, quirky people in our lives. In fact, our lives are richer because of these things. Except for through voting, we cannot change what the politicians are doing, what the media is feeding us, except turn it off, saying enough. Commenting, getting worked up won’t change a thing.

What We Miss

We miss the tremendous opportunities to write our own headlines in little ways. For me, just this morning, my 100-pound yellow lab spent five minutes waking me up by nuzzling into my lap. I look out the window at the rain puddles knowing it will be a good year for hiking and boating. I reflect on the ability I have to write and communicate. I savor my second cup of coffee made just the way I want it.

More than anything, I think about you, the readers of Senior Living Foresight, who are making the world better for older people, their families, and their teams. I think about the stories you have shared with me and the rest of our team. I think about our sponsoring partners who make all this possible.

Those are my headlines. What are yours?