Just as hardship can make us grateful to those who are in our lives rather than take them for granted as we too often do when things are going our way, so can the bad days teach us a real appreciation for the good days in our lives. When we have time in life to develop our dreams or memories we will often find delayed gratification makes us much more grateful when we do reap what we worked a lifetime to achieve.
Its not that I am deliberately trying to rush the up coming Holidays, as it is that I need to be accomplishing a long list of details before my husband and I leave our lives here in the cold temperatures of the North to join the snow birds who migrate each winter to the Southern regions. Since my enjoyment is not spent on Social media or the internet when I go South, but instead I use my time to pick up and to acknowledge other perspectives, I do not write while migrating:)
In many ways it is the time I spend away from the internet and media that reassures me of the goodness of Americans. The internet and social media has become way too much a part of the lives of cowards and the disgruntled to the point it is sometimes way too easy to think they are the majority when they are such a small part of what, in truth, is the bigger picture of America.
I welcome the diversity I meet when I do get away from my writing and instead learn different cuisines and different cultures and what does make America great. I also get to meet a great deal of tourists from other parts of the World and admire them for their ability to speak more than one language, unlike most Americans.
More and more younger people are reversing the order of past generations to move to vacation spots, to work for less when they are young, with the reasoning they want to enjoy their lives while they have the health to enjoy the activities they find there, instead of waiting until they retire and are so old they can no longer enjoy the activities.
It is a good argument on the surface of things but when the younger generations do not spend time establishing themselves when they are young, they will not be able to do so when they are older, as many of them believe they can earn a better income, later, when they tire of playing.
Without a resume of accomplishment in the work force these young couples are in essences trading a very few years for a life-time of hard work and difficulties because instant gratification does not equate to gratitude or satisfaction in ourselves but instead often denies us the right to succeed later, in life, when no one will hire us without a work record that lives up to our own special abilities. It is when we fail to succeed in areas where we would have achieved or excelled in our youth, we fail ourselves as well as our own satisfaction and enjoyment in life.
There is a reason for developing dreams and delaying gratification for those years and time when we can be more relaxed and comfortable with life and reap what we sow, as there is an innate need in the breast of mankind to join a pecking order or to develop a sense of accomplishment, through bonding with the knowledge, often deep within ourselves, before we truly can enjoy the freedom that comes along with appreciation and gratitude for the lifetime of hardwork and accomplishment otherwise never recognized by others but by the people we shared our lives with, while gaining our own perspectives of life.
Without appreciation and gratitude for achieving the climb to the top, many of us often times will join others who feel we can never fill our need to achieve so it instead becomes a distant dissatisfaction with ourselves, while we blame those closest to us, when we fail to live up to our full ability to achieve in our youth.
Just as mountain ranges grow to different heights so does the
competency levels of each of us have the capabilities to grow to
our own heights of ideas and choices according to our talents and ability to become the best we can be, by reaching out and challenging ourselves while we still have the exuberance of youth and the ambition to perform. When we ourselves choose to exert neither, we place ourselves into denial while blaming circumstances or finding excuses. All of us will run into those who attempt to put up road blocks in our paths, but the spirit in all of us will succeed on pure determination when we empower ourselves to reach our goals.
Too often when we think the idea of enjoying the activities or instant gratification now, instead of waiting for the sense of accomplishment we feel later,is the fault of others when our expectation fail to live up to the dream we had before embarking to parts unknown, it is too easy to forget why we exist to improve upon our own lives, to learn from our mistakes, as well as to help improve the lives of others.
Peace only comes when we do deal with the humbleness and compassion that makes us human and tells us that we no longer have to prove ourselves as our lives speak for themselves. Those who profess they only want to be happy often fail to understand that happiness can only come with achievement. We often find in every generation those who succeeded against the most difficult of circumstances while an equal number fail when they had every reason to succeed.
When reality sets in and those days we spent in the sunshine taking it easy while working beneath our own ability to succeed, in vacation resort-like settings as a metaphor, are replaced with going hungry when the tourist trade leaves or being displaced when the storms move in, the young who work for less, so they can enjoy life now, experience a far different reality from those of us who are bankrolled by the success of our lives before we leave home to enjoy the spoils of our individual victories. Facing obstacles of life during difficult periods is what makes victors of all of us, regardless of our abilities to reach new heights and different levels of success.
The whole point of retirement is slowing down enough to enjoy the sunsets and to smell the roses while basking in the freedom to move elsewhere as the weather changes. Many of us get a taste of it on vacation during our younger years and know the importance of being able to save for more time to spend together knowing first we must earn the right of passage as we understand a life, unfulfilled in achievement for other’s needs as well as the needs of our loved ones, is a life never totally reached.
When we older folks go to the vacation spots filled with peace of mind and the sense of having given life our best shot, and satisfied knowing that we both failed and achieved, we would have it no other way because we did it together, and if we are both fortunate enough to live to retirement we are fortunate enough. It was never the activities that ever did matter, as it was always the effort put forward in the final analysis of life.
It is in being able to look past the wrinkles and weight gain of our partners who worked hand in hand with us, while we remain humble in knowing just how fortunate we are to be sharing together what we worked a life-time to gain. No amount of activities can ever replace those moments when we sit together enjoying the company of each other, without even having to say or explain a thing because we both already know and understand; “These are truly the golden years of our lives,” only earned through our own completion of goals beginning in our youth.
I wish all of us the peace and love of the Season, where ever you may be and however you choose to spend it. I ask all of us to keep those who suffer, especially in the Philippines and all the children who go to bed hungry in our generosity, as the majority of us do , each year. It is that kindness in most of us that makes all mankind a step above the rest wherever we live in the World. Spend it your way! God Bless and Happy Holidays!