I had the opportunity to meet a wonderful gentleman from Ann Arbor last week who taught me a great lesson in our first 15 minutes together I’ll call him Tom. Tom is 88 and lives alone in a condo in an active Ann Arbor neighborhood. I had gotten a call that Tom may need some help in his home but I didn’t know much more than that when I arrived on a Tuesday morning. Expecting to survey Tom’s home and prioritize any number of common opportunities I find in my LifeChoices visits with older adults that wish to stay in their homes, I walked in, pen in hand. True enough, there were a couple of minor things that Tom desired help with but we were seated in his kitchen and just visiting after a short 10 minute home tour. Noting that he really seemed to have a great home and things safely in order, I asked Tom what he thought I really could help him with. Tom told me that his dream was to get some friends to take a trip to Florida together with him.
It seems that Tom and his wife used to travel to Florida often and had a group of friends that would make the trips with them. His wife has since passed away and his friends had moved. Tom was thinking of new ways to meet friends, get them to take one trip with him, and then maybe they would want to continue trekking down to Florida as a group because, as tom said, “It is no fun to do that stuff by yourself.” I was struck by this 88 year old man with so much energy and enthusiasm. And then I realized that Tom was purposefully choosing his course in life. Tom was creating LIFE out of the possibility of his desire. It is precisely the possibility of realizing a dream that makes life interesting. Tom reminded me to embrace my dreams (or create a new one if I didn’t have one) knowing that the voyage itself produces life-giving energy. Thank you Tom.