There he is; the little old man, his reflective vest, and his silver walker. He’s usually on the sidewalk when I am getting ready to turn to go into my school. He’s moving at a good clip for someone who is using a walker. I notice his legs are strong and muscular. Every morning on my drive to work, I look for this little old man. When I see him I find myself thinking, “Way to go. You keep truckin’.” And inevitably I think, “I want to be him when I am that old.” I want to be moving at whatever pace my body will allow me to move.
I realize that as I age, my body changes. I have aches and pains I didn’t have when I was younger. I find I am tired more often. I want to be in bed early and up early, and I want my 8 hours of sleep. I have recently found that when I injure myself, I don’t know how I sustained the injury. I wake up, and I have pulled a muscle in my arm. How does this happen? I want to know what I did in order to feel the pain I feel. It’s just not right. It’s not fair. Why did God make my body this way? I did not appreciate the strength and health I had when I was younger, and now that I am older, I want that young body back. I know what I want to do with that young body.
This is the whole thing with life. You get older … you change. What you do with the change is up to you. I have a choice about how I am going to live out the second half of my life. I can give into the pain, the , the change and bemoan the fact that I am getting older. Or I can embrace it and use my life experience to become all I am meant to become. I want to “keep truckin'” like my little old man. He has inspired me. I don’t know him. But he has influenced me to keep moving my body when all I want to do is hit the alarm clock and snooze an hour more. Because I am sure that when I am his age, I will be thankful that my body is still moving, that my mind is functioning.
What I find even more fascinating is that he is affecting my life and we have never met. How often do I do that for others? Am I influencing others I don’t even know? What is it I am doing right now with my life that leaves a positive impact on other people? Every day I make contact with people I don’t know. That’s a hefty thought. What I do says more about who I am as a person than anything I can say. I want people to see me as a loving, caring person. I want people to see me as someone who will stand up and fight for what is right. I want people to see my actions as a child of God. Is that what I show?
Often I think I fall far short of those expectations. I make mistakes. I stay silent when I should speak about a wrong. I talk gossip when I should keep my mouth shut. It’s not that I am all bad, but what I do can impact someone else. I want to be a positive impact. I want to create a positive ripple in people’s lives.
I want to be the old man in the bright orange reflector, walking in the early morning with my silver walker. I want to influence people in ways I don’t even know I am influencing them. I just want to”‘Keep on Truckin'”