73yr old, Grandma Shellie,
The Zumba Gold Queen,
January 27, 2011
The day we stop planning for our future, is the day we stop living says Joel Osteen, Minister of Lakewood Church in Houston, TX .
This morning, I was listening to one of his podcasts. Rev. Joel goes on to say that when we’re not planning for our future, we’re just breathing. These words penetrated my soul when I realized that I stopped truly looking forward to my future. I stopped imagining. I stopped daydreaming and I stopped being excited about my life. I could not make long term plans 5, 10 or 20yrs from now. It was too frightening. It seemed that I had nothing to look forward to and I was too afraid to acknowledge that.
It’s 2011 and I’m a 72yr old Grandma of 6 and Mother of 3. I’m a successful Health & Wellness Coach, Licensed Massage Therapist, Author, Speaker, Certified Reiki Practitioner and Licensed Zumba Fitness Instructor (Basic, Advanced, Gold, Aqua and ZumbAtomic). In 5yrs I’ll be 77; in 10yrs, 82; in 15yrs, 87 and in 20yrs, I’ll be 92yrs old. These facts took my breath away. These facts terrified me and interfered with my daily life.
I had an awakening around my 70th birthday, when I realized I was in the last quarter of my life. My thoughts depressed me for about 6 months. When others celebrated my 70th birthday, I didn’t really want to participate. Something was stirring deep within me. I could no longer fool myself into believing I was young. I was now a septuagenarian.
Many of my fears arose from seeing a majority of seniors, 76, 86 and 91+yrs old, who are not healthy, who have had many surgeries, whose minds are riddled with Alzheimer’s or dementia, who are in nursing homes, wheelchairs or using walkers. My thoughts drifted towards the questions, “Will I be healthy as I age? Will I be able to teach Zumba? Will I be able to drive or….or……?”
I was not living. I was merely existing, just accepting what life was dealing me- as Joel Osteen said, ‘just breathing’. I allowed all the losses, discouragements and difficulties I had experienced, to take away the spring in my step.
The good news is that I was living my life in the now, which is a good thing, moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day. The sad fact is that I was living with no hopes, dreams and aspirations for tomorrow. Why? Because I when I was in my future 5yrs, 10yrs, 15yrs or 20yrs from now, I was too frightened to look.
That period of reflection was very a very powerful chapter in my life . It’s passed and I passed through it with flying colors. I am very grateful that I experienced it. I am now more feisty than ever, more courageous, more adventurous and once again, I do believe I am ageless - that I could do, be and have anything I want regardless of my age. I reached a point where I don’t care what others think of my choices. It’s my life and I have to follow the beat of my own drummer.
What helped me get through the short negative period, was searching for women, in their 80′s, 90′s and beyond, who had made a difference in their lives well past their 70′s. These women became my role models, my inspiration to keep on keepin’ on.
Yes, there would always be women, whose retirement years would be lived in a nursing home, in a wheel chair or with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, etc. And thankfully, there would always be women like myself and Maya Angelou, Estee Lauder, Gloria Swanson, Grandma Moses, Kathryn Hepburn and more, who would continue to be vital, beautiful, creative, productive women in society, well into their 80s and 90s.
Once again, I believe I am unstoppable with an enormous future ahead of me, filled with fun, adventure, a great relationship with my soulmate and many accomplishments. I celebrate each day by doing something special for myself. I don’t wait for a birthday to celebrate. Today is the most important day of my life and I try to appreciate that fact.
When we”re depressed, we tend to look at everything through negative lenses and we tend to wallow in our losses.
- I was no longer married.
- I’m not in a relationship today.
- I have to work harder to maintain muscle tone and skin texture
- I use reading glasses
- I have a few more senior moments
My PERSPECTIVE on that today, is, SO WHAT!!
I could focus on the ‘what if’s', ‘poor me’ or I can focus on the ‘wow’, ‘what’s next’. I have to ask myself often, “Which thoughts feel better and which thoughts are more supportive?”
I am extremely grateful that I continue to be youthful and energetic, healthy, on no meds, no major surgery and no medical conditions.
I realize that my 70th birthday was an epiphany, a life changing event that I had to go through to reach the other end. The other wonderful end.
- THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT TELLING THE TRUTH TO YOURSELF IS THAT YOU NOW HAVE THE OPTION TO CHANGE.
- BEING SURROUNDED BY LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE WITH SIMILAR CONSCIOUSNESS SUPPORTS US IN RECOGNIZING WE HAVE A CHOICE AND WE CAN CHANGE
- WE CAN’T CHANGE THE AGING PROCESS, BUT WE CAN CHANGE HOW WE PERCEIVE IT AND WHAT WE SAY IT MEANS.
- TODAY IS THE DAY YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ZUMBA CLOTHES AND GOLD DVDs: