Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Learning To Live As We Grow Old

Aging is like a traffic accident. We are walking, whistling probably, and as we cross a street we are blindsided by a truck. The truck is old age; silent, invisible, lurching up at us in the midst of our still youthful stride, amid our sweet thoughts that are a million miles away from anything as banal as reality.

Weren’t we supposed to live forever, to finally learn the secrets of success, to satisfy dreams and resolve the festering wounds of youth, adulthood and middle age? Don’t we get some reward for all the pain, self-pity and passionate denial of a life, which requires the inevitability of sickness, sad endings and death?

Probably not, we realize, as we watch us pick ourselves up in the middle of the speeding days of our metaphorical life. You mean, there is, really, an end to it, an end to us, somewhere out there? Is this all there is?

Yes, life’s blinking traffic light tells us. This is all there is.

So maybe, just maybe, you … we … every one of us who are now older than we once were; should begin to stop, look, and listen, or at least pause a little and think. Let’s consider the consequences of our inability to clearly see, and maybe think about, where we are going, and why? Maybe, we will begin to realize this; by trying to ignore the absolute fact that we are, indeed, going to be dead any day soon, we are also ignoring and certainly not appreciating the precious days we have remaining.

Have we really been living these last many years, and days, and hours? Or have we simply been sleep walking, dreaming instead of doing, eating and drinking but not tasting, listening but not hearing, losing touch by not reaching out?

Make friends by being a friend, even though it’s often difficult finding that special heart connection. Volunteer your time instead of wasting it. Laugh more. Make others laugh. Relish the passing, precious moments. Help others, as well as yourself, to learn to live and love every day. Get on board of that old truck and learn to live like you’ve never lived before.