Day 22: One Thing to Remember and Two Things to Forget While Aging

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Biscuits and gravy make me think of home!

Today I’m making “comfort food” -homemade biscuits, gravy, bacon, eggs, and grits- at the request of my children.  I hope they forever remember our home as a place where they are deeply loved, respectfully challenged, and greatly admired.  I’m approaching 50 and am much more nostalgic than I used to be.  As I’m aging, here is something I remember and a couple of things I hope to forget.

Remember your roots.  It keeps me from getting a big head.  I grew up in the humble town of Hayden, Alabama.  Along with millions of people around the world, you probably haven’t heard of it.  During my childhood, Hayden had one school grades K-12 (maybe there wasn’t a K), two red lights (though one of them may have been related to the train track), and Logan’s General Store (which is actually just outside Hayden) where I bought “penny candy.”  The best way to imagine it is to walk into a Cracker Barrel store today.  That’s how I saw it as a child.

Forget to be weighed down by old baggage. It’s funny how I can hear twenty great things, but the comment I hang on to is usually the negative one.  It’s not good for the body, soul, or mind.  We all know it, and brain research confirms that positive thinking rewires our brain to look at more possibilities, while negative thinking does the opposite.  USA Today ran an article in December letting us know how negative thinking limits our brains.

If a negative comment helps me grow, then I retrieve it when I need to reflect, but if it’s just adding to the weight of my old baggage, then I need to drop it and move on.  I forget a lot of things, but for some reason I mostly remember to pick up this old baggage.  I hope you’re not like me in this!

Forget to share everything you know. Unfortunately, I like to talk, but I also love to learn.  I’ve found that an awesome way to learn, is to listen.  I’m especially impressed with the technical skills of young people today. They create amazing tools when they are motivated.  I find it brilliant and want to keep learning as much as I can.  My main problem is that I need to quit feeling the need to share everything I know and just listen and learn.

In summary, remember where you’re from so you feel confident but not haughty, forget comments that drag you down, and forget about talking so much so that you can listen more.  That brings us to today’s brain activity.  Write down the negative thoughts that are bringing you down.  Throw them in the garbage can and don’t let them back into your brain.  We need all of the brain cells we can get!

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” Maya Angelou

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