I’m trapped in the not so smart phase of life...

Published Mar 12, 2017 at 9:16am

BY PETE SESTITO

It was so simple from my earliest recollections. It was about having fun, going to school, being polite and respectful (not always easy and not always achieved), enjoying family and friends, living and learning.

At this stage I was always protected and supported, completely dependent on others for my happiness and survival. Not a worry in the world. It was about me and I received and took a lot from all and didn’t give much back. Nothing was asked from me except the most basic and simplest of responsibilities. 

Childhood for me and most of my friends was a wonderful time.

We grew up in a community where we played little league baseball, rode our bikes without helmets, drank from the neighbors hose, and played outside.

We weren’t concerned about politics or who was running the country. I didn’t know or cared who was in charge, Republican or Democrat. We were honest with each other and solved our own problems. Sometimes we fought with each other and the next day we would be on the same team high fiving each other.

We were in our early years, our pre-teen years — years that demonstrated a zest for life through a vision of complete honesty and a sense of excitement that comes with each new day bringing rewards and surprises.

Fast forward to our senior years.

We’ve raised our families, we have retired, we are enjoying grandchildren and great grandchildren. We are or should be enjoying the fruits of our labor. We have experience and knowledge that only comes with age. We can and should share our life lessons with all.

Our seniors have much to give and need only an avenue to share.

Seniors now know what they don’t know and admit that during the “not so smart phase” that this information only comes to light after we have transitioned into our senior years.

Early childhood and our senior years are periods of our life that share a view of life based on a vision that isn’t skewed by work, financial and family obligations, stressors like responsibilities and meeting expectations.

Our not so smart phase has us all working, providing, giving and taking, worrying, struggling, living beyond our means, trying to impress, amassing wealth, dodging health issues, finding time and making excuses.

Unfortunately our not so smart phase is a majority of our life. 

How can we change and become a little smarter during this long period of our life? I don’t know the answer for you, but my answer lies in the eyes of my grandchildren and the hearts of my senior loved ones, especially my Mom and In-Laws. What do I mean?

A few days ago my oldest son returned home from playing hockey in Europe and we had a “special” Christmas celebration for them. We put up a small tree, decorated, ate a wonderful meal, and opened presents that Santa left for the children. The children were laughing and tearing open presents. The joy in their faces and complete love and trust in their eyes was payback tenfold.

I was as happy as they were and I was more content than I had been in years. As I sit with my Mom, sometimes talking, sometimes watching TV, sometimes watching her sleep — I understand her frustration with age, but truly sense her devotion and commitment to family. I can feel the love in her heart for family and I know she feels a sense of satisfaction for her role as a wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.

My in-Laws commitment to their family is demonstrated daily. From visits, to fixing toilets, delivering beef barley soup, opening their Florida condo to us all, being kind and understanding is an example of them living their life putting others first. Their hearts are in the right place.

I want to look and live life as our young and old look and live.

They operate from a position of complete honesty and the excitement of the young is topped by the satisfaction of the old. Most of us are in the middle phase, the “not so smart phase.”

It only takes a small change in the way we operate and perceive information to become a little more grateful and a little more intelligent.

At 55, I’ve traveled far away from those early years of excitement and enjoyment and still have a few years before I enter my senior phase of understanding and knowledge, but until then I am going to commit to trying to enjoy more experiences like a child and know and understand that I don’t know everything and try to operate like my mom and in-laws and put others first.

I want to feel the satisfaction of my heart being in the right place. I hope you will do the same.

Have a great week and please remember to pray for those in need. A special prayer to my friends Debbie and Joanie. I wish I could solve your problems, but their is only One that can. Continue to believe and remain faithful. He will provide. Thinking and praying for resolution. The Sestitos love you.