a life well lived

Monday, July 14, 2014

TAJ IV - Old age ain't for sissies 07/14/00

Actually, if you manage to get to 90 relatively sound of heart, mind and body  (or any combination of those three), you have accomplished something pretty  unusual.   To be honest, as I have inched closer and closer to my centennial, being old  has gotten somewhat easier - actually, a lot easier.   In my late 80s I began  to see the humor and humanity in things much more than before.

Looking back, the toughest years were when my energies were beginning to flag  and my body started slowing down.  My proprium - my sense of self -  felt  threatened  as it became clear that Katharine Reynolds Lockhart was far more  than just the sum of her physical parts.  

Moving out of that hanging-on state  to one of accepting that the fixtures and fittings were coming apart was like  moving out of darkness and confusion toward lightness and the light.  The  concept of physical being, of time and relationships became liberated.  I was  beginning to get the hang of these basic changes when I was hit by a small  stroke late last September.

That small stroke sped up the process, liberating the me.  My mind felt  strong, my spirit felt strong.  As my body started to head south, it no  longer had  the energy  to put up a fight about being temporary or even fake  being permanent.  My feet drag somewhat and I move a lot more slowly than I  did, but most days my spirit soars,  making itself felt more and more.

Nature has forced me into more meditative states and a slower,  sssllooowwweerr tempo.  Instead of being bored to tears sitting in the big  chair in the living room or in my soothing rocking chair , it is surprisingly  rewarding.  

The problem is that young kids - looking through the eyes of a still preening self - feel sad and think, "How dull her life must be."  Too  many Ancient and near-Ancient Ones come to think those young'uns are right.

A friend asked me to write about old age and make all the younger folks  envious of us Ancients.  Growing old, even some of the sadder aspects of it, is part of the Lord's grand scheme.  Let go of time-bound prejudices and fears  of growing older.  Marianne Williamson says that to get to the light, a  person has to work through the darkness.  In middle age, life can seem dark.

Work through it toward the light.  Or perhaps consider a play - the closer  and closer the actors come to the curtain going up, the more experienced they  get, the more polished their performance and the better able they are to  improvise when needed.  It is the same with life.  Think of us Ancients as  master thespians, waiting for the curtain to be rung up

It is past even this night owl's bed time.  Nite-nite and God bless - A Kid  at Heart

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