Yesterday, you were stuck in your office. The phones were ringing, your boss was humming that god forsaken song he heard on his commute in, and footsteps raged across stale discolored floors as each and every person raced to complete their work and get home….Flash Forward…
Today, the fourth, you have a beer in your hand, maybe a glass of wine, someone other than you is sweating at the grill (it smells incredible), the pitter patter of the office has been exchanged for the stampede of children in the yard (they’re laughing and occupied) and you couldn’t imagine being more content.
The fourth of July, Independence Day, Happy Birthday America, what ever you want to call it, the day has finally come and we could not be happier to spend it with the ones we love…Flash Forward again… you’re on the porch, your kids are grown with kids of their own, it’s the fourth of July and all the same sounds fill the air but the difference is, you don’t have the mobility you once did.
For most of us, the future is a much sadder day when we don’t have the freedom to experience it. For me, when I imagine my future, I see bright lights, fireworks on the fourth, traditions where we sing songs and grow old while watching our children do the same. When I think of my future, I think of all the things I can do to safeguard what I want and need it to be. So why don’t others do the same?
…Flash Back… you’re a kid again. You don’t know what the word retirement means but you know you’re too young to worry.
You still keep your change on your dresser in a silly shaped piggy bank, and if your sibling asks you for a quarter to buy candy you know they couldn’t steal it if they tried…Flash Back… you’re a young again, you barely know what illness is but you know that getting sick means that mom will bring you soup on the couch. Sick doesn’t mean high blood pressure, it doesn’t mean doctors visits, copays, or cold gloves or diagnoses, and it certainly doesn’t mean missing out on summer activities.
You see while I was growing up, I realized that we often had much more to learn from kids then we did adults. Kids are fearless, they know what they need, when they need it, everything feels hard but they figure it out far sooner than we thought they could. Kids have people to take care of them, but as adults we learn all too fast that we can or have to, “take care of ourselves.”
Truth is growing up is a group effort but being free from illness and stress doesn’t have to be a right only granted on a declaration. And I don’t know about you, but I heard as a kid that an “apple a day keeps the doctor away” so maybe starting with something as simple as that could begin to make a difference…Flash Forward… to the present.
You have a beer in your hand, maybe a glass of wine, kids are joyfully screaming in the yard, you are happy and your family is too. The whole neighborhood, family, group is here to be with you on this holiday and there is no better feeling than the one that comes with being happy, free, and alive.
This Fourth of July I want you to make a promise. I want you to silence your cell phone, listen to your family, hear out your neighbors on all their random stories, and I want you to focus on what small things you can start doing to make sure that this fourth of July is but one of many many more.
The Moral of the Story: You don’t have to fight against something to be a hero, but fighting for yourself is the most noble cause you could ever undertake. Celebrate independence day our way, by keeping healthy choices in mind, and take every day as a motivation to live for the future you have always dreamed of because whether you want to travel when your eighty or just play with the grandkids, the choices you make today can provide you with that perfect tomorrow.