Tom Peters, I love you. Today, you are my hero. Night before last I went to bed as a forty-something still making my climb to excellence, but I awoke a fifty-year-old looking down the slippery slope of irrelevance. Or at least I felt that way.
I turned over in bed, hoping the day would go away, when I felt the pain in my left shoulder. A few months ago I had decided that pulling my trash can up the driveway while still driving was a good idea. I felt my shoulder pulling, but I kept going — determined to reach my goal of total stupidity.
So my birthday started with a visit to the doctor. I walked into a full waiting room, and when I was finally called the nurse performed that horrible, debilitating, controlling maneuver of weighing me. I hate that little tapping motion the nurses do, continuing to move the weight a little further to the right and a little higher on the pounds. I actually yelled “Stop!” at one point, but the nurse ignored me.
The doctor examined me and declared I needed to see a specialist. Awesome. I walked out of the office with my sore arm and new weight-loss goal, trying to stay positive and see all of the amazing “wows” of aging. I looked up motivational quotes (most of them written by people who have yet to reach fifty) and tried to ignore my misery. Every time I did, however, my panic was there like Kathy Bates with a sledgehammer, ready to drive me right back into it.
Then I went to the hair salon (trying to make fifty a little more blonde) and opened up a newly purchased Tom Peters book called The Little BIG Things. This book is a great read, and offers “163 ways to pursue excellence.”
“People turning 50 today have half of their adult lives ahead of them.”
The words slammed me in the chest and took my breath. Then, as I sat in my chair at the beauty salon with foils in my hair (always a nice look), a slow smile began to grow across my face spreading even more rapidly than my gray hair. My hands slowly reached for the sky and I said “Y-E-S-S-S-S-S!!!”
Tom Peters went on to share that people over fifty:
So, Tom Peters I love you. And to all of you that are at the same life expectancy tipping point I am, please feel better that the tip isn’t as extreme as we might think. We still can perform, excel, and take new steps in new directions. We can still be the best.
Here’s the baton of good news that I take from Tom Peters and hand to you – EXCELLENCE IS AGELESS!