Where has the summer gone?

The older I get, the more I realize that my time on earth is finite and valuable. As I write this, I’m about to send this issue of OutLook by the Bay to be printed, and I’m wondering where the summer went.

This summer, I had a birthday, and got a year closer to the target audience for this magazine. Back when I lived in another state, there was a woman who told me “age ain’t nothin’ but a number.” I didn’t believe it at the time (I thought I was too old for her, to be truthful), but I’m beginning to believe it now.

Age is just a number. That’s why, almost every day for the past two weeks, I have strummed on a ukulele. Up until this point in my life, I had never seriously played a musical instrument that could produce more than one tone at a time. A saxophone, or recorder? Sure, I can play one of those passably. And I can probably harmonize or play a melody without needing to study too much. Just don’t ask me to sing at the same time that I play.

But ukulele? It has four strings! It can make four tones simultaneously! It’s like having four instruments in one! And to make it sound good, I have to think about what chord I want to play. And, I can sing now, which is also new to me. It’s been a lot of fun developing calluses on my fingers and making chords, playing simple songs.

But, that’s not all. In the same month that I started playing ukulele, I also began running. Pretty much all of my adult life, I have had this thought that I am not athletic, that I can’t run, that walking is all I can do. My doctors disagreed with me, and have for years suggested that I exercise more vigorously. But I let my own ideas drown out their good advice.

I decided to consider their perspective by trying to run, using a program that alternates between walking and running. It’s hard, but I’m interested to see how well I do. I know it’s not a race; I just want to see what happens if I take exercise as seriously as my doctors want me to.

I’m not trying to brag; in fact, I have felt bad for not taking exercise seriously when I was much younger. But, I won’t feel that way anymore. The past is the past; I can’t change it. All I can do is think about the time I have left, and what I want to do with it. It’s only been a few weeks since I started doing both, but I hope that I’ll be able to run, and that I’ll have some fun playing ukulele for many years to come.

Is there something you’ve been putting off that you can start today? Maybe, like me, it’s exercise (after checking with a doctor, of course). Maybe it’s learning that language you always wanted to learn, or getting that degree you’ve been missing. Maybe it’s connecting with a long-lost friend.

Whatever it is, I hope you find the time for it soon, and I hope you find it fulfilling. And maybe you’ll get some ideas in this issue of OutLook by the Bay.

Be well!

Please support OutLook by the Bay with a subscription.

OutLook by the Bay magazine and this website are made possible through the support of our advertisers and subscribers. We guarantee you’ll learn something new each issue. Please subscribe today.