You Either Get Old or You Die:
The Pluses and Wishes of Aging
I have always enjoyed the pluses and wishes exercise and would like to apply it to the aging process, being qualified by virtue of being sixty-one years old/young, depending on how you view yourself. At any given point, on any given day, I can feel very young one minute, and very old the next. It’s kind of a mixed blessing.
I will begin with the biggest plus of all, the fact that I no longer have to be somewhere, at a given time, because I was so instructed. If there is an itinerary, it is because I approved it. When you’re a kid, with ample time and freedom on your hands, you do not have the life experience to compare it with the loss of that freedom that comes through job and family responsibilities. I now revel in the idea that I can pursue that which appeals to me most, every single day, even if it involves 12-14 hours of sedentary work. I get to make that choice.
I wish I could still walk up to the 7.25 mile marker on Bell Springs Road, (eighty minutes, roundtrip) instead of just to Blue Rock, a forty-five minute jaunt.
I love the fact that I no longer have to worry about hurting myself with a chainsaw; no one will allow me to pick up one anymore. Another tragedy...
I wish the gray in my beard kept the same pace with that of the hair on my head, which seems to be on a slower track to gray. I hate shaving so my graybeard gives me away. I can shave ten years off my appearance by picking up my electric shaver.
I love the fact that I no longer am required to keep up with the twenty-something men, when we head out to construct, or out to gather wood. Anything I do is viewed as gravy, especially if I am able to drive my truck to the site and manage not to hurt myself.
I wish I could still eat sourdough bread, which I have given up in an effort to curb my ever-burgeoning stomach. I am trying to eliminate processed food from my diet, but some things are so much harder than others.
I love that I am able to see the accomplishments of my three sons, as they choose their varied paths among life’s many options. All display characteristics of consummate community contributors.
I wish I could take advantage of available senior discounts; unfortunately, I forget to ask for them.
I love that I lived long enough to enjoy the modern technology which allows me to renew friendships and communicate with so many good friends.
I wish I could better figure this darn technology out, so that I could publish in cyber-space.
I love that my life has gradually allowed me to move farther and farther away from the complexities of urban life, to that of the country. Life can be harsh in either environment, but the hardships endured on the mountain, often do not compare with the kinds of challenges that living amidst countless others, provides. I’ll take three feet of snow over the smoggy Los Angeles air, any day of the week.
When all is said and done, I still like my old saying, “You either get old, or you die.” Right now, I love the path I am on, and wish to continue, and that’s the bottom line.