Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Have you reached your peak or are you still climbing?

I have many small goals that are constantly changing as priorities are juggled. My main goal has always been to be happy, even when I didn't recognize that was my purpose. It doesn't take much to make me happy, and the quest for happiness isn't selfish. Happy people spread joy and warmth. It is contagious and a good thing to share.

At a party over the holiday season, I was in the company of a man I've met maybe 4 or 5 times. As people mingled and conversations changed, I noticed this particular man brought his college years into the conversation no matter what was being discussed. Perhaps I should give him credit for creativity. It couldn't have been easy to work playing football in a Rose Bowl game over 40 years ago into a conversation about the price of a gallon of milk.

I understand the team's achievement in winning that prized position of playing in a bowl game, and I know reminiscing is fun, especially if you have a captive audience enjoying your story. Sadly though, each time I've been around this man, who never seems to remember having met me before, he tells the same stories of his heyday.  He does not live in the present. Dementia or Alzheimers is not an issue. A little too much alcohol is probably a contributing factor, but no matter how early in the party you catch him, he is reliving games, frat parties and pranks from 40+ years ago. It seems he defined his peak by those events. Unable to participate in them now, he has nothing new to talk about and doesn't know how to listen to others who are enjoying the present.
Wherever you are today, enjoy the present and don't be afraid to find new peaks to climb. You'll never catch me climbing a mountain, but I hope I will always look forward to challenges that I find enjoyable, and will always be present in conversations with people rather than orating from the past.


Kelli said...

How sad for that man, Knitty. :( I have known people like that. I don't ever want to truly believe that *this* particular time of my life (whenever that may be) is the BEST time of my life. Maybe a great time or the best time I've had in a long time, but I always want to have the hope that there are more great times ahead. I'd hate to think that my peak was 20 years ago. Doesn't leave much to look forward to, now does it?

SmilingSally said...

Knitty, that man is a sad one to have already experienced his best years. Like you, I like to think that I'm blessed now.

andrea said...

what a great post! i need to write a book, be a motivational speaker...something of the like. i always find myself "reexamining" my life when i'm done reading you...and that's a good impact to have on people! thanks for blogging!!!!!

Chatty Crone said...

Couldn't have said it better.