“After Halloween it’s a downhill slide to the holidays.” I’ve said that for years. Now, I can add, after turning 70, it’s a downhill slide to 75. These days, I’ve become more preoccupied with the 3/4 century mark.
This decade of my life is just going too damn fast. I’m now making some accomodations for my shortness of breath from copd, and it’s making me feel old. (older?) I stopped going to zumba several months ago because I got too short winded. Excercise, some days, is simply not an option. Having been very physical all my life, I don’t like it. How to accept the new reality and not give up too much? I’m working on that one. My guess is that will be an increasing challenge in the coming years.
There’s nothing new to the observation that time seems to speed up the older you get. What’s changed for me, is that time seems to be in damn overdrive these days. Someone’s put the pedal to the metal. I want to scream at the driver to slow down.
Speed can be exhilarating, but it also can be scary because of feeling out-of-control.
I’m familiar with the old shibboleth that advancing age allows us to value each day more. That’s obvious, but hardly satisfying.
I recently read that some wise person, or person who thought they were wise, would start each day by asking himself, “How would I live this day if I knew it were my last?” This produces the same mind stop as the Buddhist monk greeting, “Remember you’re dying.” It separates the wheat from the chaff, but is a little too confrontational for my taste. Maybe this concept needs to be experienced gingerly and gently, like entering an unfamiliar dark room.
I’ve always considered myself a realist. I like to think I look clearly at what’s so. Why go through life in denial? Sooner or later, one should confront the Truth, or it will bite your not so little butt. But then, maybe there’s something to be said for Denial.
I decided at 69 that I would not hide the fact that I was turning 70. I really felt no different physically. Now at 74, I’m a little taken back that I really have begun to feel “older.” Maybe I’m finally transitioning from prolonged middle age?
It doesn’t seem productive to remember the days when everything physical came easily. On the other hand, I know very well that turning 75 is a privilege not afforded to many, and I’ve got a lot to be grateful for. Coming to terms with the changes that accompany aging seems to be my next challenge. Just maybe, if I’m successful and lucky, it will be the most gratifying.