One thing I am learning on this journey in life is that getting older has been the easy part.
Unless you are stricken by disease or an accident of fate occurs, aging continues. The days go by, you get older and before you know what has happened, life has past us by and you are now old.
Aging happens whether we want it to or not – it is a part of what makes us human, we are born, live, then we die, it is the circle of our lives. It does not matter who you believe you are, what you believe or any of the other categories that humans use to separate us from one another, aging only stops when we die. We all have that in common.
What is being old?
To me it is when my physical or mental abilities have declined to the point where I can no longer do the things that I want to do with my life, even when I have made modifications to take into account growing older.
Being old is not always just a number of years that we have been alive (although it is a great predictor). Someone 30 years of age, can be old and someone who has seen 70 birthdays can still be aging, but typically it is as you close in on that eighth decade that it seems to manifest itself most profoundly.
However, as inevitable as getting older is, what is difficult is being old and living with the changes to our lives that are forced upon us, because you are now old. If we stop and think about it, we all know examples of what I am writing about.
I don’t look forward to being old, but at the same time I plan on continuing to age and inevitably will be dealing with the issues of being old. It is the age-old conundrum of not wanting to be dead, but at the same time not looking forward to being old and the difficulties that unfortunately seem to accompany the twilight of a life well-lived for those of us who might make it that far.
Getting older and being old are different things in my mind and as I do one, I think more about the other.
How about you?