A very dear friend blasted me out my carefully constructed image as being contentedly old. The image is of an indeterminate period of being in relatively good health, able to travel and be with family and friends, and engaged intellectually and socially in interesting pursuits. Of course, the operative term is “indeterminate” period, which I blissfully assume will be a loooong time!!!
It appears from conversations with friends and colleagues in the medical business that no one can tell exactly how long one can be contentedly old. Apparently, it can come to a screeching halt without any warning. A car accident, a tough fall, or the indignities of my body simply falling apart can happen to me at a moment’s notice. I need only to remember losing both parents in a car accident many years ago to remind myself that their vision of being contentedly old was cut short in an instant.
All this leaves me returning to a favorite theme which is that we’re really only guaranteed this moment, so I’d better make good use of it. That means being mindful of what I can do now to create/sustain the life I want to have, to make a positive impact on the lives of others, and conversely, to minimize the negative impact I may have on the environment and whatever else I touch. It’s a tall order, since being mindful is conscious work, and frankly, I’m not always up for it.
I do fail, you know, often and with some regularity. I comfort myself with the knowledge that I have this moment to make it right, to be contentedly old as long as my body will permit. Here’s wishing you a state of being contentedly old for as long as possible!
With my best wishes