May 2018

Directors Column

May 2018 

During the summers when I was a kid, we’d spend weeks at a time at my grandparent’s home.  At that time they lived across the street from the stadium at August Martin High School near Baisley Park in Queens. Playing tag had all of us, me and all my cousins running through the tunnels and up and down the bleachers ‘like we didn’t have any sense’. I can still remember hiding behind the gate, panting and out of breath, narrowly escaping a ‘YOU’RE IT!’.  Afterwards, my grandmother would make us “Devil’s Food” and crackers and we’d play in the sprinkler before she gave in to our pleas for a quarter each so we could walk up to Ms. Mack’s store near Rochdale and buy a pickle or some candy (if you picked only penny and nickel pieces you could get a lot in the little bag).   It was how I wanted to live forever.  

It’s very interesting to me that while I don’t always remember what I had for breakfast, for some reason, these ancient reveries can come to me  in such vivid detail I’d think that if I parted the curtains and looked out the window, I’d see us all still playing outside. These memories stand the test of time and give me comfort even when I’m not seeking comfort.  In the memories, there are no grown up concerns, like money, politics or health.  There are no worries about the future. They are static joy seared into my mind and unchanged. They are there for me and are mostcertainly a gift.  

I get to think about gifts this month because I’m having another birthday. Like so many of you, I’m 29!  Over the years I have begun to take the opportunity during my birth month to check in with myself and to celebrate and enjoy all of my gifts.  The difference is that rather than look forward to the traditional gifts that I will get, I take the time to appreciate all the gifts that I’ve been given and that I currently have that I may perhaps take for granted.  In this way, I am never disappointed for what I wanted and did not get. I have an endless supply of thoughts, memories and experiences past and present to enjoy. 

When I check in with myself I see that the funny thing about being 29 (again) is that I don’t actually feel older. I wear glasses now and my knee did a weird thing when it didn’t work right for a couple of weeks but now it’s ok again unless the weather is bad. Is that what older feels like? I did some research and found that the old saying “You’re only as old as you feel" is backed up by a new study. Researchers found retired people with positive views on aging were 44% more likely to recover fully after a health scare than those with negative views on aging.   Retirees that typically felt younger than their actual chronologic age had improved health and wellbeing as opposed to those that thought poorly about themselves.  So if that is all it takes, I’ll keep playing with thoughts like these that remain unfaded and always welcome memories.  By taking a moment to indulge ourselves we can give ourselves a gift that can be enjoyed over and over again.





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