There has been a lot of hype in the past few years about the importance of reinventing yourself as you age. As you all know by now I am not a doctor, or a psychologist, or a life coach but I am a woman who is constantly evolving and I can speak to my experiences good and bad.
As I see it aging is not so much a process as a privilege.
There are milestones we all acknowledge (turning eighteen, or twenty-one, or forty or sixty-five) which most of us seem to take for granted these days; never giving a moment’s thought to the fact that up until a couple hundred years ago forty was considered “old”.
We have become a pill popping, TV addicted lay-about species that whines if we have to walk from the far side of the parking lot to the food court in the mall. We complain about our jobs and relationships; we drink to excess and eat any old thing we please no matter how many times we are told that poor nutrition will make us sick.
We live in denial that we will pay a price for our behavior, and expect the people around us to feel “bad” for us because we have such a hard life; and then we act shocked and afraid when the inevitable happens – we get sick and the life we never appreciated is threatened.
“If” we are really really lucky we are diagnosed with some small annoyance or other that can be medicated or removed. “If” we are not so lucky we get told we have three months to live.
In either case, we cannot but help lie awake and take stock of ourselves. Have we accomplished the things we set out to do? Do we live in the home we wanted to live in? Do we have the family relationships we intended to? Have we made a contribution that anyone will remember?
We had so many dreams – what happened to them? Why did we wait until it was too late to live the life we intended to?
And worst of all – now that we are sick, when we are least able to, are we going to do what it takes to change our ways and fight off disease so we can continue to live?
If you are reading this and you or a loved one is not well, you will think me cruel – but I hope you will agree that I am being honest about what you are facing. You are facing the fight of your life – literally. Change your way of thinking for a reason that is greater than yourself and appreciate every day like never before.
If you are not sick (and I pray that you aren’t) then why wait – get up and make changes now while you can. We all have friends and family who didn’t make it, but we have the privilege of still being here.
Let’s make the most of the time that we have been given – let’s build something that we can be remembered for.