Senior Living Advice: ‘Sausage Guy’ says it’s ok to adjust your sails

Pictured above is actor and country singer Jimmy Dean. (Photo from

By BETH DOW, Home Helpers of GA & AL

Every week I write a quote on our big white board at the office.  Sometimes it is work-related, sometimes it’s relationship-related.  Sometimes thought provoking and sometimes … just make you turn your head and go, ‘huh’.

My quote this week spoke to me more than most.  It is a quote from Jimmy Dean.

For those who are younger, as one person in my office asked, “Is he the sausage guy?” Yes, he is the sausage guy.  But for those of us who are a little older, we know him as Jimmy Dean the singer, TV host and TV star.

Jimmy Dean played roles on television shows like Daniel Boone to playing opposite Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever. Dean was perhaps best known for his song Big Bad John.  And I am pretty sure if you are over 60, you just sang those lyrics.

My quote this week by Jimmy Dean reads: “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

I’m not sure why this quote has resonated so much with me.  Maybe it is because six years ago I thought I would be retired now.  Maybe it is because COVID changed the entire world … and I had gotten pretty used to the world we had.  Maybe it is because as I age, I see more and more that my life isn’t always going in the direction that I thought it was going to go.

There is a book called “Who Moved My Cheese” by Dr. Spencer Johnson.  I read it, gosh, maybe 20 years ago.  Great book, only 98 pages.  If you haven’t read it, I would encourage you to do so.

The message of the book is that life doesn’t always give you what you want when you want it.  Sometimes things change unexpectedly. But if you can find ways to adapt and overcome your fears, good things can come to us again.

Aging in our changing, challenging world today isn’t for the faint of heart.  It can be fun and exciting and scary and frustrating.

Sometimes we forget that we can adjust our sails.   We can sit and pout or we can adapt and move on.  I am very much in the adjust, adapt and move on mode right now.  Some days it is easier than others.  But I am thankful today for the reminder and for Jimmy Dean, who not only made good sausage, but also had encouraging words for those of us just trying to make it to our destination.

Beth Dow is a Dementia and Alzheimer’s Educator, CAEd and Geriatric Care Manager. She is also the owner of Home Helpers of GA & AL in Newnan. Readers can contact her by email at  [email protected].

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