I Can! Oh Sure I Can. I Can?

If ever there is a time for us to prove up, it's Spring. This season is fraught with opportunities and obstacles. For us these can be the same thing. If you are wondering what I'm talking about here, let's take the first annual mowing of the lawn event. This one divides the players from the spectators.

As a spectator, I watched as Mr. S and his new knee navigated the semi-swamp that is our yard. Just a month out with this knee, you'd think that this would be an area of trouble. You would think wrong. Here's the deal. We are getting old and our bodies winter over. We spend a lot of recliner time in Winter and it spews out like a slot machine filled with aches and pains in Spring.

The new knee is fine because it has been exercised all winter long. Instead, Mr. S injured his right shoulder trying to start that lovely gas powered weed eater he needed last year. This year he discovered that his shoulder wasn't ready for this type of exercise. Not at all. He finally succeeded in starting it with his left arm but the right one is still out of commission.

This is all of us. We begin each Spring with an assumption or a hope that we will be able to do the same things we did last year. If you are one of our Geezer friends who keeps a regular exercise routine all winter, you'll be just fine this Spring. If you are like me, you'll find that you've lost some strength during these quiet months and you are going to hurt yourself in the dirt.

Dirt. I love the stuff and can't get enough. Mr. S is welcome to mowing. I care about all those flower beds he maneuvers around. Nothing makes me happier than planting. The problem with this is that when I was younger I could conquer one flower bed or more in a day. I could pull all the winter weeds, add mulch, fertilize and plant in one day. I could use a shovel. I could use hand tools. I could make things happen.

Eventually there was a Spring when I couldn't do these things. Or I could do some of them but not in the same way. I ran out of breath and/or strength. Damn. This was not the old age wanted. I have to say that it made me very angry because it happened much earlier than I expected. It happened much earlier than I thought I deserved. In my heart I know that a lot of you have gone down this same pathway. I know that each Spring you compare yourself to the person you were last Spring, no matter your age.

Let's all stop doing that. It is a giant waste of our precious time. If you are reading this, you are alive and have made it through another winter and are smack-dab in the middle of Spring. I suggest you do whatever you can to enjoy the sunshine and spirit of this season.

Whether you are a gardener or not I am asking you to plant something. Buying a plant is fair but you have to replant into something else. Get those fingers in the dirt. I like to plant a whole packet of lettuce seeds into one big container next to the back door. Yes, I know this is too much but in all honesty, I'm a too much kind of person. From this planting I will get too much lettuce and much joy from watching those plants grow. I will also be happy for this all summer long.

Let's go back to where we started. Yes, you can. No one can keep you from doing the things you love to do. This includes you. I find that many of us deny ourselves the right to do a whole lot of things. Why? Think this one out. Let yourself live a happy life while you can. Thank you.

In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine. Yes, you can. Do those outdoor chores which you can manage. Yes, you can. If your hands are crippled, do what you can do and take energy from that soil. This is something I know and for some reason, when I get my fingers in the soil, my pain drifts away for a time. Of course it comes back but by then it is a reminder of what I managed to do.

Yes, you can. Oh, and if I were you, I'd give a small planter, dirt and seed to someone you know who isn't having the joy in life you have. You'll be amazed as that someone joins the group of us who still can.

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