Getting old? I don’t think about it. Never have. My life has been a constant series of opportunities, relationships, and “projects,” goals with timetables that fully engaged all of me until they were done.
Then there were new opportunities, new relationships, and new “projects.” Sure, there have been slow times, even some depressing ones, a good share of those relationships and “projects” didn’t turn out as I’d hoped. But I survived, did my best to learn from mistakes, and moved on.
And never thought about getting old.
It’s not that I had any delusion about living forever, I’ve always accepted that my life would end. That’s obvious, why make a big deal about it. Death is going to happen, I’ve watched it happen to people close to me, I’ve already been a widow once. Yes, being blind has perhaps helped me avoid much thought about aging as there’s no sign of it on my face in the mirror in the morning.
There’s no face.
But a recent documentary, “If You’re Not in the Obits, Eat Breakfast,” has caused me to pause and reconsider this aging thing. In this film, Carl Reiner, the ageless comedian, interviews a bunch of folks in their nineties and beyond, all of whom are living active, purposeful and happy lives.
90 years old.
Jeez! That’s old, really old.
Both my dad and my grandfather lived to be 82. I remember my dad at his last birthday party, relatively healthy, enjoying an evening with friends. I didn’t have the slightest clue he’d be dead in three weeks. A little heart attack, some complications, and gone. Just like that.
Looking back, I wonder if he just decided it was time to go, there was nothing left he wanted to do. I’ll never know but now I’m thinking about where I’ll be when I hit the big 82. Don’t worry, it’s a few miles down the road so I fully expect this blogging thing to carry on.
If I reach that milestone, wIll I decide it’s time to go or will I, like carl Reiner and his youthful buddies, keep seeking out new opportunities to live a full and happy life?
I like to think I’ll keep on going, but first I need to make the most out of my caregiving adventure with my wife and her dementia. That’s going to be a long haul.
Here’s hoping there will be light at the end of that tunnel and I’ll still be around to eat breakfast.
You might also enjoy: Life in Reverse, My Dementia Diary