Reflections around Independence Day

There is so much going on around us these days that sometimes it is difficult to sort through it all or to even attempt a cogent response.  Then there are times which scream for a bit of reflection and comment.

The week before last was such a time.  Was able to meet up with some dear friends and their families for several days.  There was a great deal of catching up on what each had been doing, getting to know the new people, sharing memories of past times together, and a general sense of being at peace.  It is that last item which most gave me pause as we celebrated a couple of birthdays and an early Independence Day.

Peace.  It is one of those things which can be so elusive and so short lived.  It is also one of the core drivers of my own existence because I decided at a very early age it was worth attaining and keeping at least within myself even if the rest of the world never did figure out how to do it.  It took the gathering of a far flung group of friends for me to realize that even my inner peace has become increasingly difficult to maintain of late.

There are many things to blame for that, not the least of which is the aging process itself.  At this age, most things should be easier but seem instead to be more difficult.  About the time we figure out how to manage with much less range of motion, for instance, then the gall bladder decides to enter play and require some special attention.  How do we keep such things in balance without spending all our time being introspective?

Well, that is something for which I have no magic answer, but a few things do come to mind.

Each of us military veterans has heard a variation upon the theme of “Adapt and Overcome.”  I always took that to mean: figure out how to get those things which are out of balance back into balance, however it must be done.  Sometimes doing that simply means following a reg while other times it means inventing a new way of doing something.  Either way, the goal is to obtain and to maintain a good balance.

Of course, we can only keep those things in balance which are within our sphere of influence.  And that is where some of us hit the wall.  It seems that not only aging causes fewer things to be within our control, but that at least some of our liberties are also being reduced.  It can be very frustrating to maintain balance when not only are our physical limitations increasing but our spheres of influence are concurrently shrinking.

Sometimes it really is best to remember those early lessons we learned in the military.  I am grateful for being with friends who reminded me of that fact just by their presence.  “Adapt and Overcome.”  It worked then, served me and millions of other vets during our military service, indeed throughout our lives, and there really is no reason to believe that it remains anything other than a valid perspective.

Thank you, my friends!  You brought it to my attention again and gave this Independence Day a special little extra something for reflection.

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