Conduct a ‘reality check’ this Thanksgiving

‘Senior Living’ by Carl Hendrickson

By Carl Hendrickson

As I sit in my office before my computer, I realize that I am growing old.

This should not be a surprise. Since our first breath, each of us has grown older.

In fact, everyone I have asked has told me that he or she wants to grow old.

Growing old is a beautiful experience.

When I wake up each morning, there are no children in the house. It is just my bride of one-half century and me. The nest is empty. The house is quiet, peaceful and orderly.

My days no longer are governed by the activities of our children, whether it be school, sports or hobbies. No hurrying through breakfast to get the children off to school or through dinner to attend a school function or sports activity. Time belongs to me to spend as I wish.

Of course, there are the aches and pains that go with the aging process. A couple years ago I had back surgery and still have pain if I overdo it. Some of my senior friends have had knee replacements or hip replacements. Others are fighting the Big C — cancer. Some complain of not having enough money to live well in retirement.

But as Thanksgiving approaches, what do I have to be thankful for? It is time for a “reality check.” There is strength in achieving a victory over another, but a person who achieves a victory over himself or herself is all-powerful.

Money does not make one happy. I consider myself rich because I have a loving wife, three wonderful children and six super grandchildren. The circle of love that comes from family is strong. On this Thanksgiving, as on past Thanksgivings, I shall give thanks for my family.

I also consider myself rich because I have many friends among the readers. Friends are those relations we chose for ourselves.

They hang like companion stars around us to give us direction. Friends are those individuals we run to when we have something to celebrate, and we fall back upon them when feeling ill-used.

When others abandon us, friends always remain by our side. On this Thanksgiving, I shall give thanks for you readers that I call my friends.

Riches come from taking pride in many of my accomplishments, whether as a writer or a volunteer on many committees and organizations.

I give my time and meager talent to the Call Newspapers, my church, the local chamber of commerce and a local nonprofit organization.

In turn, I like to think that each has benefitted from me. Yes, I am proud of what I am doing for them, and on Thanksgiving I shall be thankful that I have the talent and the time to give to each of them.

This Thanksgiving, I urge each reader to conduct a “reality check.” Don’t dwell on the aches and pains of growing old. Be positive, consider what truly is important.

If you have family and friends and have accomplished something over the past year, consider yourself rich. You have much to be thankful for.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!