Hooked On A Feeling
by Arlene Pellicane
It was a beautiful summer day of vacation on the beach. Imagine the beachfront teeming with kids building sand castles, bikini-clad teens, parasailers, and even a few dolphins. But do you know who stood out to me the most? Two middle-aged Japanese women who ran with all their might into the Atlantic, splashing and laughing like they were 14 fourteen again. They were probably in their forties, but they didn’t look it. They were moving too fast, laughing too hard, and looking too silly to be women in midlife.
Wouldn’t it be nice to look and feel this young again? You may or may not dash into the ocean anytime soon, but there are things you can do right now to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.
When my mom was in her mid-fifties, she hadn’t exercised in years. She never played sports or watched Sweatin’ to the Oldies with Richard Simmons. You couldn’t pay her enough money to step inside a gym. And then something happened.
My husband James noticed an indoor cycling class that a personal trainer in our neighborhood was teaching out of her garage. Indoor cycling is a type of aerobic exercise that takes place on a stationary bike. Because you stay in one place, it doesn’t involve much coordination, which is why my mom was willing to give it a try.
The rigorous class lasts for a brutal 45 minutes, and to my mom’s credit, she smiled through the whole thing. Four years later, she’s still cycling away twice every week. “If it wasn’t for the indoor cycling class, I would have skipped exercise many weeks. It’s become a routine and I really need that. I think I’d be 10 pounds heavier if I didn’t go,” says my mom. I don’t think my mom can outrun me, but she might be able to “out-spin” me! It doesn’t matter if you bike, walk, run, or swim. The point is to keep moving!
Pray like a kid again
When my son was only four-years-old, to my delight he already had a tender heart for God. One night after bedtime prayers he said, “Mommy, I love God so much. I love Him from the top of our house to the bottom of the floor, then one billion inches down, and then back to the sky. That’s how much I love Him. That’s a lot. It’s like 100 + 50!” After he said that, I ran to my computer to type it all down. It was a moment to capture and remember.
There’s something very special about a young child praying to God. But come to think of it, you are a child of your Heavenly Father. Is it possible to feel younger simply by praying like a child? How do you display childlike faith and perhaps unlearn some of those grown-up, stiff, predictable prayers?
I teach a Sunday school class for three-year-olds, and without fail, every week someone has a boo-boo to show off. Whether it’s a skinned knee, ankle, or elbow, the story is the same: Look at what happened to me! Will you pray it gets better? When you’re three-years-old, a boo-boo is a big deal, even if it happened a week ago and can barely be seen without a magnifying glass.
What are the needs — the cuts, the scrapes — in your life right now? Are there concerns weighing on your heart and mind? Come to God with your needs. He is waiting to give you comfort and healing. He’s never too busy to hear about your “boo-boos” — no matter how big or small.
Enjoy a hobby
Your favorite hobby might be sitting poolside in a lounge chair, playing bridge, or bargain hunting at Nordstrom Rack. It doesn’t matter what your hobby is. It just matters that you do something you enjoy on a regular basis.
My mom loves cooking and arranging flowers. My sister-in-law, Cindy, enjoys glass blowing. My husband is learning how to play the guitar. We have longtime family friends who are retired doctors, and they enjoy going dancing twice a week — the waltz, fox trot, swing and salsa. If you want to learn a new skill, like dancing, playing an instrument, or knitting, check out your local community college. You’d be surprised at the wide offering of very affordable classes ranging from sign language to woodworking for women.
If you ever think you’re too old to sizzle, think of my friend who celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary this year. She’s got better legs than me (sad, but true). Or the 78-year-old woman who was leading the dancing at her granddaughter’s wedding. Baby boomers and beyond may have aged in years, but not in spirit. You don’t want to simply retire and fade into the background someday. You yearn to be active and useful, travel, have interesting conversations, and live out the dreams that perhaps have taken a backseat during the childrearing years. You want to feel the passion and energy of your twenties while possessing the wisdom that only comes with age. These wishes can become a reality in your life. Don’t believe the cultural lie that your best days are behind you. On the contrary, as a believer in Jesus Christ, your best days are ahead.