Michael's Message - Lyrical Reminders to Truly Live!
You and I are affected by song lyrics, messages that resonate and stay with us over the years. Being reminded of the messages in the songs we used to listen to can provide a pick-me-up. Since depression — clinical and undiagnosed — is so common in older folks, and can actually lead to suicide, I thought it would be good to revisit a few of the reasons for hope and a future that can be found in songs we have heard along life’s journey.
Today, the day you are reading these words, is truly the first day of the rest of your life. What will you do with it? John Denver sang a song called Today is the First Day of the Rest of My Life. Here are some of the lyrics.
…Want to put on faces, Walk in the wet and cold
and look forward to my growing old
To grow old is to change
To change is to be new
To be new is to be young again
No matter how old you are, dear friend, just think — the older you is new to you! Even if you went to years of school years ago, now you have time to explore what you want to know at your stage of life. It is never too late to try new things, learn, start a conversation with someone, make a new friend, share your wisdom or skills. You can find ways to exercise, even if you are limited in your movements, or confined to bed or a chair. Don’t give up. The Richard and Karen Carpenter song We’ve Only Just Begun has lyrics that are so wistful, full of wisdom, and optimistic. Are they true? They indeed can be true, if you choose to believe—
Before the rising sun, we fly, So many roads to choose
We’ll start out walking and learn to run
And yes, we’ve just begun
Sharing horizons that are new to us—
Watching the signs along the way
Talking it over, just the two of us
Working together day to day, together
And when the evening comes, we smile — SO much of life ahead
We’ll find a place where there’s room to grow
And yes, we’ve just begun
Maybe you still have albums, cassettes or CDs of music you enjoy. Perhaps you know how to type in the name of a song in a search engine and find various performances to listen to on your computer. There are music apps for your phone, too. You might want to attend a house of worship where you know hopeful songs are sung and played. Increasing your visits and activity level at Shipley Center might do you a lot of good, too! I encourage you to find ways to think positive and have hope, to stay involved and circulating, have fun!
I want to give the following information, just in case someone out there needs it today. If you think you might have depression, or are ever feeling life is not worth living, please contact your doctor, counselor, or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). It’s free and is available 24/7! If you’d rather type your conversation, you can go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org, and click on the purple box in the upper right that says, “CHAT”. This is also a free service. You can find and read stories of hope and recovery and check out numerous resources at the site as well.
Let’s all encourage each other to stay connected and alive!