Your Choice – Live Life to the Fullest or Sit Back and Let Life Pass You By

Your Choice – Live Life to the Fullest or Sit Back and Let Life Pass You By

As each of us get older, we have a choice to make – either we can live life fully or we can sit back and moan about how we are not as spry as we once were, how we have pains in places we never had them before or how life has let us down and we never became what we could have been.

It’s a choice each of us makes.

Personally, I Choose to Live Fully

I no longer have a regular full-time job. However, I do not consider myself retired. I am involved with many different things. They keep me busier than I ever have been. I would never be able to work and do all that I do now.

Though I am older, I feel as if I am much younger. When asked, I frequently tell others I am in my forties. When my daughters remind me I have a birthday coming up, I tell them yes and I am younger than them.

Where Does My Inspiration Come From?

I regularly see people older than me who are living with gusto. I want to be like them. I know I’ll never do what they do but I can still strive to.

Kimani Maruge

I recently read about Kimani Maruge. He lived in Kenya. In 2003 the government started to provide free elementary education to its citizens. Kimani who was 84 at the time decided to enroll so that he could learn to read.

Kimani told everyone his goal was to become a doctor. In 2005 he addressed the Untied World Summit on the importance of free primary education. He continued in school afterwards. His vision of becoming a doctor was cut short when he died of stomach cancer in August of 2009. However, his cancer never stopped him from continuing to learn more.

Right now, many people are striving to be physically fit. Drive by any gym almost any time of day or night and you will see people exercising. You may have never heard of this woman but need to know about her.

Her Name is Ernestine Shepherd.

Ernestine recently celebrated her 83rd birthday.

In March of 2010 at the age of 73 she earned the title of the World’s oldest performing female Body Builder.

Her story is remarkable. She never had any interest in exercising. Here are her own words – “As a 56-year-old I was a sedentary, well-padded school secretary and “slug” who had never worked out a day in my life.” She went to buy a bathing suit with her sister. They laughed at how each other looked in the bathing suits they tried on.

Then and there they resolved to get in better shape and started working out together at a gym. Shortly after this her sister had a stroke and died. Her sister’s death was all the more motivating to her. Over time Ernestine not only transformed her body but also her life.

Ernestine has gone on to become a personal trainer and run marathons. She is thoroughly enjoying herself and is in the best shape of her life.

Right here in East Tennessee, there are . . .

People Older Than You Doing Remarkable Things

I have only lived in this area for several years. However, I have already met several people older than me who I desire to be like as I age.

One is a man in his 90’s. He looks much younger than his years. He has a wealth of knowledge about the history of Knoxville that he regularly shares with others. He is very active and exercises several days a week. He also keeps his mind active by taking classes which interest him.

Two others are women in their 80’s. They are always on the go.

One has a very large family. Several times during the year, she will drive to visit them. She also has many friends outside the area whom she visits. Her family tries to restrict the amount of driving she does. Since she doesn’t live with any of them, she feels they have no right to try to impose themselves on her.

I recently met the second woman. She teaches an art class. In our conversations, I could tell the zest she has for life and living her life to the fullest.

Now the Big Question – What About You?

Are you experiencing life fully or are you ok with sitting back and just letting life pass you by?

If you want to really enjoy yourself in the coming years, you might want to get involved in something you are truly passionate about.

You may want to get physically fit and to start exercising. There are many opportunities for you to do this. Ever thought about jogging or running a marathon?

Maybe those are too strenuous. You might start swimming, walking or hiking.

Do you want to stay mentally active? Many classes are offered at the local senior centers, libraries, community colleges and even the University of Tennessee. Enroll in ones that interest you.

What about doing volunteer work? The Knoxville Knox County Community Action Committee and every non-profit organization in the area is looking for volunteers. Call them and find out what they have available. Volunteer for something that you are interested in doing.

There also are many nursing homes in the area. Some people staying in them rarely get visitors. You may want to go to one or more of these homes and spend some time with those who have not had regular visitors. You will bring light to their lives and you may make new friends

Don’t be surprised if at some point down the road you find you are busier than you ever have been. You may even have to cut back a little on what you’re doing to be able to spend more time with your family.


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