The Republican National Convention is this week. There has been a lot of historical footage in the media, and on more than one site I’ve seen video clips of Reagan’s highly effective slogan “Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?”
That got me thinking of my life through that four-year lens.
Now, I’ve already stated that I won’t take a political stance in this blog. Instead this is a personal/mental comparison between me then and now.
Four years ago, I was also off the dance floor due to a knee injury, one that at the time was also undiagnosed. Then I was still hopeful that a career in dance was possible. Even after they discovered that my meniscus was torn, it didn’t dampen my aspirations. In my head I had a bright future ahead of me doing something that I love.
I’ve now mentally accepted that that dream will not happen … taking a quick step to the right, with its corresponding SHARP pain in my knee, refreshes my memory if I ever forget it.
If I was asked a few months ago about being better off, my answer wouldn’t have been positive. I’ve really been without direction. I’ve made the horrible mistake of confusing busy with productive, I think as a feeble attempt not to face not knowing what to do next. That plus some family health issues have made this a trying year so far.
Inspired by my own post, I tried taking my mom’s advice and brainstorming my way into a new direction. I made some strides, but then I quickly realized I was trying to work my way out of the problem by looking back (to a career I hated) instead of forward into the unknown.
Then it hit me. It was an idea that I had thought was impossible and had dismissed early in the process. I then realized I had friends in the field, and I might as well talk to someone to see if it is possible. Turns out, it might be! I’m being intentionally vague because it is still in its infancy and might not come to pass, but even if it doesn’t, I’ve got momentum and the belief I will find something satisfying.
So am I better off than I was four years ago? Then I had the pain and uncertainty (even if I didn’t express it … even to myself) of the knee injury, and now I have DH2U by my side and my determination to explore the great unknown is restored, so my answer is “Yes, I am better off.”
What about you? How does your life compare to four years ago?
6 thoughts on “Better Off?”
Miss Amy, Thank you for your HUGE role in helping me find direction again!
Very good question… Today a friend and I were grading our lives so far. She gave hers a B+ overall which is GREAT considering she’s 76 years old! Mine has only gotten really good since my midlife crisis back in 2004 and after I met Mike in early 2005.
To answer your question, four years ago I was recovering from a traumatic brain injury while finishing my first book,Midlife Magic, so YES my life is MUCH BETTER NOW!
Thanks for helping me keep a good perspective on all this Tammy!
Wow. Thank you for sharing about your injury. You have definitely progressed a long way in the last four years!
How wonderful that your friend is focusing on the good things that have happened in her 76 years. That is how I want to be when I am her age!
What a great topic! Like you, I’ve had to live with injuries that I was determined to believe would improve – and they haven’t. I now focus on other things, generally a good option, and consider myself fortunate that things aren’t worse!
When looking (more generally) at whether or not one is better or worse off over a period of time, I think it all depends tremendously on zeroing in on different areas. For example, I’m worse off financially. Then again, I’m somewhat less scared about that, because my children are now in college – and with scholarship. My concern is more for myself only, rather than myself and two kids.
I’m better off when it comes to attitude. I have a sense of freedom I didn’t have while still raising my kids and trying to keep a roof overhead, I have a wonderful man in my life after years of going it alone, I take more pleasure in my own strengths, and I’m working with some exceptionally caring people. In other words, I feel richer in those aspects of life that offer meaning. And in that respect, I’m better off.
I think this is an excellent way to encourage us to look at where we’ve come over a reasonable period of time – the good and the not so good – and put everything into perspective.
Congratulations on your kids’ scholarships! The amount of financial stress removed from your shoulders must have been tremendous.
You are definitely a perfect example of happiness being wanting what you have instead of having what you want. I’m so glad that you are in a good emotional place and focusing on the meaning of life. That is what really matters.