I hear a lot of complaining about aging. Some of it is coming from me, so I admit in advance, I sometimes forget to be grateful I’m alive. Getting old ain’t fun, but not getting old is less fun.
Age brings financial limitations, aches, pains, and indigestion. On the plus side, it brings an end to commuting, doing whatever your boss tells you because you need the paycheck, and never having time for yourself. Being alive offers significant advantages over being dead. Which, to the best of my knowledge, is the only alternative to growing old.
I think we are most afraid of age when we aren’t old yet, but see it coming. Most of the bewailing and bewhining about getting old doesn’t come from old people. It comes from middle-aged folks who feel they are quite old enough, thank you, and could we please just stop this aging nonsense? Can’t things stay put?
The good news is the fear of getting old is much worse than being old. When you get to whatever age you have defined as officially “old,” probably when you retire or sign up for whatever your country gives to those who no longer work, old turns out to be life, minus going to work.
Just a continuation of life. There’s no sign saying “WELCOME TO OLD, A REALLY BIG TOWN.”
Many of friends and family members died younger than I am now. A lot younger. There’s little point in agonizing about what might happen. Worry doesn’t change anything, but it sure sucks the joy out of now. The worst part of all the stressing over possible future disasters is we worry about the wrong stuff. Inevitably, what actually happens isn’t what we worried about. It’s something we never expected, for which we are utterly unprepared.
Someone quotable said that in this secular age, worry has taken the place of prayer. I don’t know whether or not prayer was ever effective at preventing bad stuff from happening, but I’m sure worry isn’t.
In the long haul — if you’re lucky enough to have a long haul — there will be sufficient real problems to keep you busy. You don’t need to worry about stuff that may never happen. Figure out what to do about the crisis when and if it happens. Otherwise, enjoy what you can.
I gave up worrying sometime around the time I got the second cancer diagnosis. Clearly, the whole worry thing had failed. It was time to try a different approach.
I recommend living in the moment. Try it. You’ll see.
I don’t mind getting old. I resent being sick and hate being poor. On the positive side, I’m alive to complain about it. A lot of folks I used to know cannot say the same. They can’t say anything. That’s the down side of being dead.
Getting old, with all its hazards, will always beat getting dead.