Enthusiasm is important to life motivation. I don’t believe anything can be accomplished without enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is getting an enormous thrill out of ordinary events. I know. I used to feel this way daily. Now, only at times.
The opposite of enthusiasm is apathy. I know this feeling. It’s best described as feeling a lack of physical and emotional energy.
I note the America of today: the solemn faces and slow gait of people, the closed business with dirty windows, the once vibrant shops and department stores now lacking customers. The empty offices without workers who sit at home working part-time in their underwear, the people walking down the street talking or reading into their smartphones instead of conversing with their partner. I notice and I am sickened.
What has happened in my once beautiful Chicago neighborhood and to my neighbors? I know the reason(s) but do not dare say. I know because I am a woman over 50 and I get it!
DO NOT LOSE YOUR NATURAL ENTHUSIASM
On my way to meet a friend for lunch, walking outside, I tune into my gait… it is sluggish. I note I no longer carry one of my fabulous handbags that brought joy; instead, I tuck a credit card case deep into a pocket because of the high rate of crime in my city. Before, I would smile at strangers and say, ‘Good morning!’ No longer.
Today, I am not the person I was a short two-plus years ago. Today I have to push myself to fit that positive mold that used to come naturally. In other words, I have become zombie-like.
“Stop it!” I say to myself. You cannot lose your natural enthusiasm. Your daily awe.
I continue my walk.
The reality of the new lifestyle in America creeps into my once jovial-thinking mindset. I pinch myself…am I walking down a street in Venezuela or Cuba? Am I living in a Banana State instead of my glorious United States of America? The answer is yes.
As I continue my walk I wonder where my friends are hiding. I ask myself the reasons I rarely desire to make phone calls and why I let my phone ring and ring instead of picking it up. I know.
Why don’t I purchase tickets to the opera, symphony, and shows? Why don’t I shop till I drop? I know why.
HOW CAN WE STOP OURSELVES FROM LOSING ENTHUSIASM?
Outside forces are causing me to lose enthusiasm.
I am feeling like you. The entire world, save the oligarchs and elites, have lost their joy de vivre. We were and continue to be robbed of a normal American lifestyle and we are letting it happen right before our eyes. Elsewhere is worse than ever.
As I continue to walk, I ask myself where can I go to escape this horror. The answer…
I escape when I listen to Beethoven and Mozart and write my stories. I escape when I close my eyes each night because I never remember a dream or a nightmare. A good flick and a great read is an espcape… but I cannot escape the truth. And, the truth is blinding. Life has changed and it is putting me in a funk.
As I continue on my walk I think: I could escape to Sanara Camp in Nothern Kenya where people and animals live in harmony. And work in a productive way. I daydream that I could lead a grandmother march with other women over the age of 50, 60, 70, 80, and older across our Country. With enthusiasm, we would say, “Enough!” If I could, I would.
Leading a grandmother march would power- up my enthusiasm and I believe grandmothers would make a difference. But that is a dream. I find myself smiling for a moment.
BRINGING BACK THE LIGHT
It is Friday. My day. No work. As I mentioned, I am on my way to meet one of my close friends for lunch. As I dressed today. I looked at my beautiful handbags sitting on shelves collecting dust. I thought to myself that I wish I would sling one of them over my shoulder and walk Michigan Ave with attitude.
As I near the restaurant, I pick up my gait. I am eager for conversation with my wise friend. I wonder what I will learn from her today, and this brings excitement and some feelings of enthusiasm. I hear laughter and voices!
Over lunch, I decide I will bequeath myself with a feeling of joy. I am determined to squeeze joy out of our lunch date as if it was the last drop in the mustard container! I feel my face lose its frown. Behind me is the tragic scene of my demoralized city and neighborhood and I’ve now entered a scene of hope.
After lunch with my over 50 friend I know I have to create a new personal pathway in a saddened unenthusiastic world to unpackage my lost enthusiasm. I am angry the new normal puts pressure on me and on you.
As I walk the long walk home I devise a plan, in my head…
I look inward to winning back my victorious attitude aka, enthusiasm.
My new mantra:
“I will not simmer in ineffectiveness. I will reawaken my spirit, my enthusiasm.”
6 WAYS I WILL REAWAKEN MY SPIRIT
1. THRIVE AT HOME
Home enlivens enthusiasm. Home is:
- Talking and watering plants.
- Listening to Mozart and Beethoven.
- Filling a vase with water and fresh flowers.
- Peering into organized closets.
- My pooch, America, and his licks.
- Opening the fridge stocked full of colorful avocados, vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh corn on the cobb, and large shrimp.
- Photographs of family, sentimental presents and heirlooms.
- Living with my favorite colors.
- Reading texts from a grand or a friend, reading books.
- Hearing laughter, having faith, and feeling grateful.
- My Ultimate Concierge, who is all around me.
My home furnishes me with enthusiasm.
Tap into daily positive thoughts.
Cultivate friendships with enthusiastic people. Like measles, they are highly infectious and contagious!!!
4. SPRING FORWARD
Spring into forward. we move our clocks forward; move yourself forward. When life throws you lemons, make lemonade.
Attitude is latitude. An enthusiastic attitude works miracles. It isn’t a miracle fix like Miracle Grow. You have to harness the concept, you have to ignite your rugged mental attitude.
6. PROBLEM SOLVE
Problems cause confusion, are overwhelming and are not solved quickly.
Stay calm, use your head, make a list, seek the advice of trusted people, and stay on track.
Lean into keeping an enthusiastic mindset and you will have a positive outcome.
MY CHOSEN COURSE OF ACTION FOR ENTHUSIASM
Sounds corny but it is ‘my corny.’
I miss my father every day of my life. When I was a teen he told me a fact and a story. Why I have never forgotten his words I haven’t a clue ( maybe we are soul mates.) I suppose even as a teen I felt they were profound.
On one occasion he said, “I always dreamed of being a gentleman farmer. I would have but Mom would not hear of it.”
On another occasion: “When I was a young boy I would take off my shoes and socks to walk in the dew on the golf course. The feeling I felt on the bottom of my feet was godly.”
I am going to have a greater relationship with the forces and wonders of nature because nature and her gifts make me constantly aware of growth and power. This new act of awareness will propel me into enthusiastic action. I am smiling with enthusiasm. Amen.