This morning at the gym I saw a male friend of mine in his mid-sixties, lying on a gym mat exercising with a Swiss Ball. He looked depressed. In fact he’s been looking this way for a while. ‘I can’t do what I used to do,’ he lamented.
This friend of mine used to be incredibly physically strong, but in recent times he’s had to tone down his physical activities due to his age and his past injuries. He’s still able to exercise and keep himself healthy but he’s sad that he’s had to tone down his heavy lifting. Like many or perhaps most men, my friend’s self-esteem was linked to his degree of physical strength. But this man still has so to be proud of, and much going for him. He’s in good shape, he has a gentle and caring nature and he can turn his hand to making things like cupboards, cubby houses, tables etc. He’s also a wonderful gardener and has an extensive garden with fruit trees and vegetables galore. He also preserves and makes wine with the fruit from his fruit trees. He is a person who, if you were shipwrecked on an Island you would do well to have around. You’d be looked after and you certainly wouldn’t starve. You would also have a comfortable safe shelter. Unfortunately these days he drags himself around. He simply can’t see all his valuable qualities. He feels washed up and life for him now seems to be a chore. I feel like shaking him and saying, “You’ve still got so much going for you. You’re still able and you look good. By continually focusing on losing a degree of physical strength, you’re magnifying its loss. Why not start thinking about what you can do; something you’d like to do, something that’ll ‘light your fire? Think of something to get excited about! Don’t you know that when one door shuts another door opens and that when one phase of our lives comes to an end, another is waiting in the wings? So look with joy and anticipation to the adventure of the next phase of your life. There is always an adventure waiting to be discovered and great experiences waiting to be had.”