By Steve Moran

Don’t Cry Because It’s Over Smile About it 

Sally Person is a 32-year-old elite Australian athlete, who won the 100m hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics and is a two-time world champion. Just a few days ago (the first week of August 2019), she announced that after a 16-year career, her body was not physically up to being able to compete at the level she was used to and so she was retiring from athletics.

This is not really a remarkable story, in some sense it happens to hundreds every year who grow older, are injured or are out of shape.   

But what really turned me on was a post on LinkedIn that includes a highlight reel and is captioned:

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.

Being Disappointed

I don’t know about you, but I have had some things in my life not go the way I wanted them to go. Not even close. A girl I thought was “the one” becoming an airline pilot (my eyes didn’t qualify). Working for a Silicon Valley company, getting stock options, and being a millionaire at 38. Those are just some of the big ones.  

I have two ways to look at it. I can cry because I didn’t get what I wanted or I can smile, even celebrate that I got to play the game. 

Growing Old

The thing that makes this whole ageism thing so damned difficult is that as we grow older, we do lose capability in some areas. I used to be a volunteer ski patroller and, because I now have to take blood thinners, Ski Patrol is out. Skiing is out. And let me tell you, being a ski patroller was the coolest. First on the mountain, last off, cut to the front of the line, wear the cool red jacket with the white cross . . . and I knew enough to save lives.  

I am getting ready to celebrate my 65th birthday by hiking the 225-mile John Muir Trail. I have been doing some training backpack hikes and I have discovered I have more training I need to do, more than I would have had to do when I was younger.

I can cry . . . look with longing regret at what I can no longer do, or I can say to myself how crazy cool is it that I was able to ski patrol?

So Many Things to Smile About . . .

Today I have so many things to smile about.

  1. Those things I once did but can’t do or don’t do anymore . . . some of them I could do but are just not as important anymore.
  2. Those things I can still do, some better today than ever.
  3. Those things I am doing today that are powerful and impactful on the lives of others.
  4. Those things that I have not yet done but I will still do, those next chapters.

Our Opportunity

These four things are the four things we can help our residents see as a way to give them the best possible lives, the best possible next chapters.