With the mildness of winter so far, particularly January, it doesn’t seem possible the month is already over and gone.
I know we promised to be back with the blog in mid-January after our holiday break, but as you read on I hope you’ll understand and excuse us for the two-week delay!
Because I am 75, I often think of my age. When I do, I’m reminded how wonderful aging can – or can’t – be. That in turn depends so much on my own choices and decisions about food, exercise, sleep and especially attitude. You see, as you age you can either decide that aging is entirely a process of aches, pains and losses, or you can diminish that through your attitude.
I don’t get to make the final choice but I get to make a lot of choices along the way about how I feel. While I still have the choice, I choose enthusiasm and gratitude.
With this in mind, I wrote a note to myself and taped it to the wall in front of me, as I often do. It reads,
“Live with enthusiasm and gratitude. Enthusiasm to get the things you want in life and gratitude for all the things you now have!”
January was a lesson in enthusiasm and gratitude
Sometimes it is difficult to be enthusiastic. January and was a good example of that.
I began this new year with a terrible cold and cough. It beat me around for a couple weeks and still lingers a month later. Along with that I had a medication complication. Because I take warfarin, a blood thinner, I am subject to nose bleeds in cold, dry weather. One day I could not stop the bleeding. I eventually needed to go to the doctor, who gave me a vitamin K shot to reverse the warfarin; a few hours later, we went to the emergency room where the bleeding finally subsided on its own over the course of our three hours there.
As if that was not enough, a few days later my cardiologist called to report my bedside cardiac monitor had shown some fibrillation and therefore I needed to come in for a nuclear stress test. The results indicated some minor concerns but nothing that required further intervention. However, because of my nosebleed incident, he changed me from warfarin to a different type of blood thinner called Eliquis.
The point is, don’t lose your enthusiasm for living. Yes, it’s difficult at times, but your choices and your attitude will make those circumstances better or worse!
When I went to the ER I made a conscious decision to focus on the people who were there to help me rather than the fear and concern I had for my relentless nosebleed. It’s not just about me, even when I am the the patient. So I tried to make those people feel good because they have a tough job. This is true for teachers, checkout clerks, parents, and even coaches.
I feel better now. My cough is nearly gone. My nose doesn’t bleed at all on the new medication. My heart is beating more regularly.
I am preparing for the end of basketball season enthusiastically and am anxious to go to Phoenix for my 51st NABC Convention and NCAA Division I Final Four and then go with my close friend Geoff Vejsicky to Augusta to the Master’s, which has been on my bucket list for many years.
Tough life or great life? Your enthusiasm matters.
With this in mind I am so grateful for all the wonderful people in my life, especially my family and my wife Jennifer, the real head coach, who is a gift indeed. And I’m grateful for my many friends. In addition to my bucket list trip with one of my best friends, I’ll be traveling to Los Angeles soon to meet with two other good friends, George Raveling and Glenn Wilkes.
“We all have problems and concerns. Meet them with enthusiasm. We all have friends, families and loved ones. Greet them with gratitude!”
My 2017 word for the year
My word for 2017 is CONTENTMENT. Seek contentment with what life hands you. Be content with the things life has given you. But be enthusiastic every day and reach beyond where you are today.
It’s your choice.
January went in a flash. February holds more winter weather. Stay warm and content with your enthusiasm for living and your gratitude for life! There are no “dog days” of winter if you are enthusiastic and have gratitude.
WINTER ON! BRING IT ON!
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Featured photo: © Sondem Fotolia
Golf photo: © Jennifer Lyle the real head coach