The first thought I had when I saw this quote was from the character Morrie – in “Tuesday’s With Morrie”, a great movie based on the even better book by Mitch Albom. In the move the character of Morrie, played by Jack Lemmon, made a statement that I think has tremendous power for us living our lives. He said “Age is not just decay, it’s growth!”
What a very true and accurate statement. However, how many of us look at getting older that way? My guess would be not many. I for one, took a while to see it this way and Mitch’s book helped me with this idea that has really helped me.
Looking back over the last year and so much happening to me and my family, the deaths of an uncle, a cousin, a good friend of my son; the illnesses of my dad and my wife’s dad, my two surgeries on my knee and my back, some difficult moments for my kids; these really gave me the time to reflect and grow from these experiences. I know these things are part of life and for most of my life as I got old enough to understand, I knew this was the way life happens.
What I didn’t know was that there are so many opportunities to grow and get better from all of our experiences in life. The ones that cause us a lot of pain, sorry, sadness, feelings of regret, etc.; but also the everyday small moments too. The lessons are there every day, big and small for us to use to help us grow in our lives.
For me, I grew in having more patience with these two surgeries. I had to or else I and everyone around me were going to be miserable. I still don’t show patience every time I should, but I recognize those moments more where I do need to have it. I grew in my love and appreciation for my wife for everything that she has done for me along with trying to do the everyday things she has to do at work and things she is working on for herself too. I also literally grew taller too. With my back surgery on my spine, I gained a half to three-quarters of an inch in height. ;-)
Where are some of the areas that you can grow from in your life? Remember that we are on this journey in life without knowing how long it will be and all the things that will happen to us throughout that journey. Also remember that growth and lessons seem to be more valuable to learn from those things that hurt us, those sad moments, those painful moments; than from the moments where everything goes perfect. Start looking today to not just go through the everyday motions of life – but to go through all of life’s moments to grow and learn from. Always look to do more and get better.