Category Archives: Mental Health

Half-time pep talk

I’m not an avid football fan, but even I know Joe Namath was one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

Out on the PR trail for his memoir All the Way: My Life in Four Quarters, Namath was interviewed on National Public Radio this morning. Among other subjects, he talked about aging.

“I decided to make a plan at 50,” he said. “Fifty was halftime, man. And you’ve seen — I’ve seen a lot of games won and lost in the third and fourth quarter. I don’t want to go out on a bad note. I want to keep growing, being productive, keep learning and keep loving, man. I want to be a positive dude the rest of the way.”

Keep growing, keep learning and keep loving. What a great mantra for one’s third and fourth quarters.

With a grandmother who lived to 104 and me in the midst of my 52nd year, I could argue I’m just beginning my third quarter. I feel like Namath’s interview was like a coach’s half-time pep talk: Keep growing, keep learning and keep loving, man (woman!). Be a positive lady the rest of the way.

Ooh-rah!

 

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When there’s nothing left to do, be grateful

I’d like to think I’m not a worrier. That I can compartmentalize my emotions enough so that disturbing and frustrating events don’t permeate my consciousness to the point of distraction. That I can use prayer enough to let go of events I can’t control so I can continue to enjoy the rest of my life. That I can accept the imperfection that is life and be OK with it.

But the truth is, I can’t.

I know my methods are lacking when I find myself awake in the middle of the night compulsively imagining possible scenarios and how I will victoriously prevail.

And then there are those things I worry about that miraculously resolve themselves. The worst-case scenario never happens, I never get to deliver my witty comeback, I no longer have to imagine how I would escape danger. The Big, Bad, Terrible Thing evaporates like so much steam from my coffee cup.

That happened recently. The Horrible Situation I have been wringing my hands about for five years simply ended. Poof. No more Big Problem. All that worry? Completely unnecessary.

And now I’m thinking: What should I worry about now?

Huh, what?!

Yeah, how ridiculous is that? The thing I was worrying about before didn’t happen, and now I’m thinking I should worry about something else.

Dumb.

I wish I could use logic to refute my stupid subconscious, beat my worrying self back into dreamless submission. Because I have no choice but to keep trying, I shall try attempt this approach by thinking positively, counting my blessings:

  • What a pleasant weekend with my stepson and his girlfriend!
  • Wished my best friend a happy birthday and enjoyed a great conversation with her.
  • My refrigerator is so packed with groceries, I won’t have to go shopping ’til at least next month.
  • Almost finished with a huge, time-consuming DIY project that I can’t wait to show you (coming soon!).
  • It’s Sunday, and a whole week of potential awaits.

Take that, illogical subconscious!