Friday, November 1, 2019
Life and... that other thing
My birthday is Sunday. I feel twenty years younger than the age on my driver's license. My health is good, I work at staying fit, my diet is excellent and my enthusiasm for life has steadily increased over the past decade.
This happy state hasn't, however, been easy or uninterrupted. Earlier this year I suffered a medical condition which required major surgery and left me with less of my corporeal self. You might say it took a chunk out of me, literally. Fortunately that episode is now behind me and yesterday my surgeon said I'm in great shape.
The experience shook me, however, and prompted serious soul-searching. Examining my life -- what it's been, where it's going -- was ultimately constructive. I dug deep and found some wisdom. Age can bring enlightenment if you're open to it.
I don't recommend facing mortality as starkly as I did but we all need to examine our lives and choose, consciously, how we want to live. The worst we can do is pass time on auto-pilot, not appreciating the precious gift of life. Be aware! Make deliberate choices! Savor experiences.
Reading this week I came across some sage words on aging. Let me share them and see what they cause you to think.
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"At first we want life to be romantic; later, to be bearable; finally, to be understandable."
"A contented old age...depends on what we were like before we became old."
"The goal...is to live long enough to think: I've lived long enough."
"Old age is full of death and full of life. It is a tolerable achievement and it is a disaster. It transcends desire and it taunts it. It is long enough and it is far from being long enough."
And, to close, some words from Rodney Dangerfield: "I'm at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table."
How do you feel about the prospect of aging?