There are a number of “I don’t want to be’s…” that have helped guide my life down through the years. Let me share a few with you so you have a better idea of what I am actually talking about:
“I don’t want to be … the husband that would rather spend time ‘with the boys’ than go home to be with his wife.”
“I don’t want to be … the father who pursues his career instead of spending time with his children.”
“I don’t want to be … the teacher who gives pages and pages of homework just for the sake of giving homework.”
“I don’t want to be … the friend who only contacts you when he wants something.”
I think, by now, you have a pretty good idea of what I am talking about. As you will note, some of these “I don’t want to be’s …” were manifested during different stages of my life. As I have reached what can be considered my “Senior Years,” I have a brand new one:
“I don’t want to be … that Grumpy Old Man that everyone dreads being around!
Now, even before it became a catch phrase, I have pursued life “Intentionally.” As a result, I proceed in a “pro-active” manner. When it comes to this particular “I don’t want to be …,” that takes the form of me being intentionally more silly than usual. Depending on how well you know me, you may know that that is somewhat of a challenge in itself!
So, what does that look like? Well, I am a little more punny than usual. I amp myself up when I encounter people, everyone from professionals like doctors and such to the counter workers at Fast Food establishments! I am effervescent almost to the point of inducing nausea (at least according to my wife!), and always have a smile on my face and a gleam in my eye. All of this because of a goal that I have: You see, I want to be known as that Silly Old Man rather than that Grumpy Old Man!
All of this is the result of a truism I have been sharing with people for night on to fifty years: You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control your reaction to what happens to you! Silliness vs. Grumpiness is nothing more than controlling your attitude … and, make no doubt about it, you can control your attitude!
Somewhere down through the eons of time it has become accepted behavior that old people no longer have to have a filter. They don’t have to care about other people’s feelings and, as a result, don’t have to worry about what they say! That, however, is just not the case. Because of that trend, however, the title of my Blog is even more accurate: You May Have to FOCUS on NOT Being Grumpy! I believe, however, that the results will be well worth the effort!