Thursday, February 25, 2021

On Aging

There seems to be a general, all-pervasive heaviness to my life nowadays. Is it the COVID? Is it being 75 about to become 76? Is it the continued grief at the loss of the physicality of my love Gregory? Is it the unexpected passing of my sister? Is it due to so much more past to contemplate than future available to anticipate?

The word morass comes to mind: an area of muddy or boggy ground. a complicated or confusing situation. It describes the Ying and Yang of my current life: being grateful, content, joyful, at peace vs grieving, and fearful of what my age, my health, and my future will bring. 

Gregory and I always used to talk about the "parting of the veil," that brief moment when the truth behind the daily passing of our life is shown with honesty and vigorous uncolored awareness. Those moments are the most difficult to get through but then the veil shifts back to covering those things that would prevent us from living our life today and not worrying too much about tomorrow.

Part of getting older, I believe, is that the veil seems to open itself more often and takes longer to return to protecting us from the difficult parts of living day-to-day.

I find I return to the reality for me, at 75 years of age, that there is more PAST to process than there is FUTURE to look forward to. 

The FUTURE to which we look forward becomes more uncertain and more frightening than previous FUTURES of the PAST! 

And the PRESENT with the isolation, fear, suffering, poverty, illness, deaths, and losses from COVID-19 and the STATE OF THE UNION with its divisions, hatred, lying, cheating, racism, homophobia, etc., as well as my own physical and mental changing due to the aging process; is not the most pleasant place to be right now.

With the longer history of the past, I believe we begin to forget that nothing is permanent. That the expression This Too Shall Pass applies to not only the bad, difficult times but also the wonderful, beautiful times. We become used to a certain way of living and become less flexible in our ability to bend and change. Obviously, we want to hold on to the good, but the bad will arrive whether we want it to or not, and bending and changing is really all we have available to us and they just become more painful!

So perhaps GRATITUDE for the good we do have, for our ability to be RESILIENT, for FAMILY and FRIENDS and LOVE and CARING and KINDNESS, for not so much LAMENTING the bad things but CELEBRATING the good, not wondering why things are as they are but rather working on how we think about those things is most important. 

So I learn to live with the all-pervasive heaviness to my life while at the same time appreciating the GRATITUDE, RESILIENCE, FAMILY, FRIENDS, LOVE, CARING, KINDNESS TOWARDS OTHERS AND focus on CELEBRATING THE GOOD .

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