Growing Older by Kaze
Cicero got me to thinking. He talks about the disadvantages of being elderly. “As I give thought to the matter, I find four causes for the apparent misery of old age;
First, it withdraws us from active accomplishments;
Second, it renders the body less powerful;
Third, it deprives us of almost all forms of enjoyment;
Fourth, it stands not far from death.”
So I rise to the challenge.
1. My accomplishments have been based on my organizing and implementing plans. I had to turn to intensive mentoring of youth so they can do what I did. Then, I moved to Albuquerque and spend three days a week with the homeless who live on the streets or in the parks. Accomplishments are no longer my goal. Spending time with vulnerable people with no agenda gives me delight. All I have to do is show up and sit with people who see themselves invisible.
2. I find aches where I didn’t know I have bones. I can’t do what I used to do I can’t balance in the ocean. I can’t carry heavy boxes. I can’t drive all night and sleep on floors. So what happened? First, I was forced to depend upon the youth to take responsibility for everything I could not do. It was the best thing that ever happened to us. Then when my energy diminished and I needed more time to recover on doing little, I discovered that just sitting and talking with people gave me a window to the Holy. I don’t need the body I had at 20.
3. My capacity for enjoyment has expanded. I spend more time reading and writing. I encounter different groups of people. I sit and listen more. I enjoy the little things on streets rather than fly to other countries to view unusual things.
4 My friends are dying. I am so aware that if I am to enjoy life, it is now and not in the distant future. Death releases me to live fully in the immediate.
The greatest benefit in growing old is that change is my friend. If I am to drink life to the last drop, it is going to be with new encounters and keeping my face to the sun.
I love being old.