Green Bananas

I meet a lot of people from different backgrounds where I work.  Not all, but the majority of them are older and they all want to be healthier.  What makes me smile is when I see octogenarians, full of life, willing to do anything to improve their health.  Many of them have had their fair share of health challenges over the years, and when another challenge presents itself, they’re ready to tackle that one as well.

One such gentleman wore a smile, but the more he talked about his life, the more wistful he seemed.  He talked about his travels to Europe, playing golf, and how he used to walk several miles a day.  He kept saying to the doctor, “Please, just tell me what to do and I’ll do it!  I don’t know how many years I have yet, but I still want to live!  There’s places I still want to go!  I feel like I’m running out of time.”  Then, his voice got a little softer.  “I’m not going to buy green bananas anymore, you know?”  His voice cracked.  “I don’t have time for green bananas.”

My heart jumped.  I knew what he was talking about.  He meant that people buy green bananas in the hope that they’ll last longer if they’re not eaten right away.  They’ll be there later.  We purchase green bananas when we think we’ll use them in four, maybe five days.  The green bananas mean we have plenty of time to let them ripen.  And when they’re ripe, we’ll eat.  Green bananas mean when the kids grow up, we’ll take that trip.  When I retire, I’ll sit outside more and watch the sunsets, because I’ll have time.  When I’m not so tired, I’ll take up ceramics again.  When I have time, I’ll go visit my best friend.  Green bananas.

I’m not afraid to die, but I’m excited about life now, in the moment.  And it’s easy to get caught up in the “I’ll-do-that-when-I-have-time” moments.  But sometimes, we keep putting things off repeatedly, and before you know it, you can’t go hiking because your legs don’t work, or you can’t take your daughter on that trip she’s been wanting to go on since she was ten because, well, she’s grown up now and those were old dreams. 

There are lots of things I like to do, but a few things that take my breath away.  Mountains, rivers, the ocean, the desert wilderness, and horses take me to a new level of life. 

Last night driving home, I avoided what could have been a severe accident.  The situation presented itself in a second, and then it was over, but over in a good way.

We hear it all the time:  be thankful.  And it’s true.  But don’t put your dreams at the bottom of the bucket in the garage, and then cover it up with stuff.

Keep living, keep hoping, keep planning, keep doing, keep dreaming.

Most of all, stop buying green bananas.

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