Growing Old

I have a friend whose dad is kind of famous.  He's super-accomplished, legendary in his work ethic, seemingly always on the go.  My friend marvels at his dad's prodigious good works and looks up to him greatly.  But he worries aloud to me that his father will not grow old well. 

Growing old is something we all do, and it's something none of us like.  It means losing a step if we're athletes, having less energy to excel in our field if we're professionals, and aches and pains and fading memories and "senior moments" for the rest of us.  Growing old sucks. 

It's also completely normal.  And, if we embrace it, it can be a wonderful process: I know many older people whose kindness, happiness, generosity, and wisdom I aspire to when I get to be their age. 

But I can relate to my friend's famous dad.  I'm not nearly as hard-working or driven, but I too like being able to do a lot of things and do them well.  And when your body and mind prevent that, it can be frustrating. 

Being sick on and off these past three weeks - mostly on, and mostly miserable - has been kind of like growing old.  I've had to miss things I wanted to do, I've lacked energy, and my mind has failed me at times.  Sometimes, I've felt so sick I haven't cared about not being 100% - I simply had no room for anything but thoughts of misery.  But, other times, I've chafed against my weakened state, hating it instead of accepting it.

I want to grow old well.  I don't want to be someone who is only good when all is well.  I want to shine like the older people I mentioned above, who have peace in the sunset of their lives because they know who they are and they know growing old is a normal and healthy phenomenon.  I've gotten a little practice in being like them, but I'm not like them yet, by a lot.  I still have a long way to go.
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