M and I were talking the other day about how our thoughts on aging and mortality have changed in recent years.
I’m 67 and he’s 70–and if someone had mentioned those ages to me just 15 years ago I would have considered them “old.”
Until my mid-50s and maybe even 60, aging never occurred to me. The idea of being considered “elderly” just wasn’t on my radar. I think from about age 40 to 60 we feel pretty much the same age: “adult.” We’re in our careers, we’re raising growing families, our kids are getting married and we don’t really notice aging. We don’t pay attention to it.
Creaks and groans
And then, it happens. Our bodies creak and even fail us. We visit physical therapy like we used to go to the gym. People in our age group get seriously sick and some even die. We think about retirement. We retire.
These were big life changes for M and me and all of a sudden, our thinking shifted. We began to look ahead. We started to consider what would happen when we became infirm. Where we would go. What we would do. Whether we’d have enough money to live. And WHERE we’d live. The future became indefinite in a significant way.
As our nephews became lawyers and then not even first year lawyers we remembered our own early careers and realized how far from that we’d come. How exciting those days were and how far behind us they are.
Not necessarily a preoccupation but…
Aging became a consideration, if not a preoccupation.
When I look at our closest friends, a couple in their late 80s, I realize that, at my age, they weren’t thinking like this. Like us, they were working. Maybe even more than we do. They were vibrantly alive — aging seemed just a blip that appeared once in a while. They inspire me. I wish we were like that. We’re not.
The road ahead of us is unknown and maybe a little daunting, because it’s finite, at least in this world. While others have traveled it, we have not. We don’t know what to expect. We don’t know how long we’ll be on it.
I find myself more and more concerned with mortality, especially since the dear friend who inspired my business died. It’s not such a bad thing, to consider mortality. But what’s so amazing is how different my thoughts are, quite different than ever before.
The reality of aging has hit me and I’m managing through the reality (and aging) the best way I know how. If you can relate in any way to this, I’d love to know more about your own thoughts and how aging has affected your life. Because we’re all in this together, right?