With age comes wisdom … and years of hard work.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: You can't change the facts, but much like the glass half full vs. glass half empty analogy, how one looks at getting older – or at failing – can make all the difference, as Red soon discovered from Black's unexpected reaction to, of all things, a golf tournament.

It all began when Black asked Red if she had watched the PGA Championship, the second of the four "major" men's golf tournaments. Red admitted that she hadn't yet had seen the headlines about Phil Mickelson having won it, which was amazing given that while he's had an incredible career, the last years have been less than stellar. But when she commented that sports, like so many things, favor the young, she definitely wasn't expecting Black's response,

"Old People" – however you want to define old – are on a roll. In 2019, Tom Brady, at the age of 41, became the NFL's oldest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl. In 2020, President Biden, at the age of 77, became the oldest person ever elected president. Now, Phil Mickelson, at the age of 50, becomes the oldest golfer to ever win a major championship.

That caught Red totally off guard, as Black often laments about having to speed walk instead of running to "save" her knees, and even though Red's the younger (by five years) sister and still feels young at heart, she's also noticed that it's not as easy to do things as when she was younger – whether physically, like working out, or work, in terms of stamina or concentration.

However, it reminded Red of one of her favorite movies, Space Cowboys, and how age might be a physical hindrance but unquestionably provides a wealth of knowledge and wisdom, both personal and professional, that can only be gained over time. Or via a mother's unwavering desire to give her children advice. In this case, it was Phil Mickelson's mom, who sent a text message to her son via Phil's sister,

Text Philip and tell him just to par in. Don't hit bombs or activate calves. Just par. They will have to catch him. He won't listen to his mother so you text him. Hurry.

Phil played his game. The one that got him there. And the rest is history. But what Black found most inspirational about this win actually happened about a week before the PGA Championship began, when Phil tweeted,

I've failed many times in my life and career and because of this I've learned a lot. Instead of feeling defeated countless times, I've used it as fuel to drive me to work harder. So today, join me in accepting our failures. Let's use them to motivate us to work even harder.

Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io

Well, this question immediately brings to mind the rekindling of "Bennifer" (nickname given to the celebrity romance of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez) since it's been in the news so much. And it's not only the TV talk shows but also some of the "news" shows. While many people are asking "Why now?" and "Why are so many people happy about it?" I think it's pretty simple. Many people, especially women, are just romantics at heart, and whether dramas or romantic comedies, most of us love a good love story. Full stop. And they often follow the same plotline – the couple meet, fall in love, break up, but in the last scene, realize they've never stopped loving one another, reconcile, and live happily ever after.

So, especially given what we've all been through with the pandemic, what could be better than a real-life love story with a happy ending? And if celebrities can do it, why can't we? Of course, it doesn't help that many people tend to reminisce about the good times, making it easy to over-romanticize a past relationship, especially if thinking about rekindling it.

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Without getting into all the studies on Socioemotional Selectivity Theory, the bottom line is that as people get older, they focus on the time remaining and direct their attention to positive thoughts and memories. Combine that with the emotional drain of the pandemic and limited social interaction, and it is easy to understand why people go back to their Rolodex (pre-technology contact lists) rather than try to meet new people.

Yes, there may be good reasons to go this route. For me, it would make me question the logic of trying again when something did not work in the past. The operative word in that sentence is "question" as I am a firm believer in asking questions, lots of questions. With my favorite one being, "Why?" So, while I cannot tell you why people are trying to rekindle old romances, I can encourage anyone doing so to ask themselves why they are doing it, including why it did not work the first time, and why they believe this time would be different.
Photo by JohnAlexandr on iStock

As I write this, the New York Islanders are tied (1-1) against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the semi-final round of the Stanley Cup (the Super Bowl of ice hockey, although it has been around almost 75 years longer). Growing up on Long Island, I have been an Islanders fan since birth – the team's birth in 1972, having been introduced to ice hockey by my father, who had always been a huge New York Rangers fan.

Understandably, having another hockey team in the New York metropolitan area meant there would be a serious rivalry between the two fan bases. Including at our house. And, often at the kitchen table, although it did not include my mother. She was not a sports fan of any sort, let alone ice hockey, and was not even remotely interested in learning … although she should have created a "penalty box" somewhere in the house for when I misbehaved (which was often) but probably realized I would enjoy being sent there, which would only encourage my misbehavior.

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Chapter 7: My Husband Gets In Hot Water – I Want To Make Soup!

One of the hardest lessons Red had to learn during her crisis (partially because she was adamantly resisting it) was one that Black couldn't believe she didn't already know – that marriage (and relationships) isn't all flowers and romantic dinners, but is about teamwork, with an emphasis on work. As well as realizing that life isn't fair, which means teamwork can be 50-50 one day and 90-10 the next.

P.S. – Over the years, Red learned that the concept of teamwork applies to families, not just marriages. Although she sometimes gets so focused on the challenges of being a single mom that she forgets Black's analogy about teamwork. So, falls back into the habit of acting (remember, she was a theater major) the martyr rather than being part of a team that works together.

Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

… Stop complaining that your life is no longer perfect. Shut up, suck it up and work at it.

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Thanks for the sugar coating! And for the record, I don't mind the work. What I mind is that I feel like I'm the only one working.

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That is because you are doing more than you are used to doing and you do not think Nick is doing anything extra.

Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io

True. And I don't think it's fair!

Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

Yes, it is. It all averages out. The first few years I was racing the Ferrari, my crew did not have to do much to the car on race weekends. Basically "nut and bolt" her, fill her with fuel, and clean the windshield. The car was new, I kept my nose clean and stayed out of accidents and away from the walls. Then late one afternoon I had a minor "sharing of paint" with someone, and they needed to stay late and work on the car. I apologized to the crew. My crew chief, Scott, explained that was their job. The fact that it had been easy up until then was fine, but they were always prepared to do whatever it took to keep my car racing. A marriage is no different.

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I don't think you can compare racing a Ferrari to a marriage. One is an expensive hobby, and one is your life!
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