People, Places, Things and Larry

                           “A Person is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.”                                                                          John Barrymore

Lately, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with MD’s; more so than I prefer.  No big deal.  I even asked for a second opinion and was told, “You’re ugly too”! (Couldn’t resist)

However, while making the rounds of specialists, I did learn about a phenomenon called “White Coat Syndrome.”

When a patient sees a Doctor, the experience can adversely affect blood pressure readings. So much so, it is now recommended that physicians furnish a second BP evaluation later on during an appointment in order to determine correct measurement.

Before I go any further, this piece is not really about aches and pains. So bear with me.

But, it does remind me of the Henny Youngman story about his grandson, Larry, who would wake up every morning with a headache.  And, every night at bed time, Youngman told his grandson, “Remember, when getting out of bed, feet first, Larry, feet first.”

We all need help and sometimes a not-so-gentle reminder can go a very long way.

If you are beyond the age of 50, you might notice something taking place within you.  It is a not- so-subtle personal transformation.  It is most conspicuous in conversation.   It is an attitude.  Call it a metamorphosis.

It’s something you don’t want necessarily happening to you but, it probably will.  And, it’s critical that you resist the temptation of becoming shackled by the condition.

It is similar to a rite of passage whose time has come.

I believe it is some inner mechanism codified by genetics that self-activates at some pre-determined time.  What it does is create a demarcation line.

It delineates the young from the old.   It divides the active from the inactive.  It separates the hopeful from the resigned.  And, this condition is not the exclusive domain of the 50 plus generation.   There are those in their 20’s to 40’s infected with……Retiring Traits and Thought.

There is an old chestnut stating you can tell a lot about a person by their topics of conversation.  Here’s the breakdown.

1).  If you’re interested in Things, you are lively and active.

2).  If it’s all about Places, you’re probably a dreamer.  That’s good and not so good.  If it’s all about the past, then you are avoiding the present and leading a life of passivity.

3).  If your dialogue is limited solely to the discussion of People, then consider yourself on the bottom rung of existence.  You are inactive.  You are in danger of becoming a Dunderhead.  What’s worse?  You are now a certifiable Bore to the Core.

Now sure,  we talk about People.  Where would we be without others in our life?  They are a necessity.  It’s part of Conversation 101.  But, that is not what I’m referring to.  If that is your prime conversational pastime, I wish you well and welcome you to a world of self-isolation and limitation.

You become the person who, when asked “How are you doing” misinterprets a friendly acknowledgment salutation as a conversation opener that allows for monotonous and non-stop babble dealing with aches, pains and doctor visits.

We all know this but need to be reminded.  It’s all too easy to go into retirement mode especially when life has kicked us hard.

But “Perpetual Wound Licking” has not yet been determined to be an approved medical classification; even under the tenets of Obamacare.

What’s worse is when talk is only about People and Health, it leads to negativity.

Negativity is a time-killer, an opportunity saboteur, a life-force exterminator.

Ever been to an “over 50” Planned Community?  Everything is set out perfectly. It looks beautiful; filled with people playing golf, swimming all day and basking in the hot sun.  Sounds great!

But, there are two groups that populate these areas:  The active and the inactive.  They don’t get along.  They have little in common.  That’s what I’m talking about.

Get “Things” going in your life.  You are too young to be old and, most important, you are NEEDED!  You are needed right now!

Listen to me.  Two of the many attributes of being over the age of 50 are: Most of us have been blessed with the gift of gab and secondly, we know how to write.

Recently CNBC reported that Business is hurting.  They can’t find college graduates with good communication skills.  Oh sure, they can Text.  They are great with 140 characters and are masters at short hand.  But they are totally illiterate when it comes to long form writing skills and verbal articulation.

What I’m saying is there are people much younger than you and me with beaucoup brilliance but lacking proficiency in communicating intelligent thought.

So, stop with the People Talk or the latest Doctor visit monologue and get going.

Now, at first, it could be rough.  You are out of practice.  Work with someone or contact me.  I am a Coach and Trainer.

Being out of practice in presenting yourself is similar to the “White Coat Syndrome.”  Get back in the game and rehearse.  Do some trial runs with like minded active people.  You are easing the pressure.

Get off your butt, get the mind in gear.  And, most importantly, remember the advice offered by Henny Youngman to his grandson “Feet first, Larry, feet first.”.

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