As I put a brace on my left ankle at the YMCA yesterday, a woman noticed and asked about how I had injured it. Since we are both “women of a certain age” (euphemism for the second half of life), she commented that getting old stinks. As my peers and I are making more trips to physicians, some variation of this theme seems to be vocalized often to me. After several years of various injuries or disorders dotting my personal landscape, I have lamented loss of abilities and lengthy recovery or rehabilitation phases. Yet I strongly disagree with this perception and attitude for the remainder of my life.
Every time this is uttered, energetically it is an affirmation and prediction of our futures. Then I start looking for a stake to drive through the heart of the vampire whose words can suck the life force out. So far, there has not been such a weapon in the vicinity so I have not spilled anyone else’s lifeblood. I just don’t want to be party to turning that possibility into reality.
It also undermines the life that I have now. I prefer being the person who affirms that I earned every gray hair on my head. My lifetime of experiences have given me joy and sorrow from which I have evolved into the person I am today, and she has a wisdom that makes some of my earlier beliefs and actions laughable. I have had the delight of youthful musculature and supple skin for which I am grateful. I am also grateful for a life that continues each day without those characteristics, but full of new experiences. One of the biggest gifts of having had a life-threatening illness is remembering to notice everyday gifts. I can give myself the joy of noticing the wealth that I receive everyday. Whether I have less than twenty-four hours or more than thirty years to complete this lifetime, I want to keep my attention on the beauty that is my life and that all life is. I don’t want to miss today by wishing for yesterday or dreading my future. Won’t you join me here?