Tuesday, April 05, 2016
I needed to sit down for a few minutes. I do this more often these days than I did in the past. And this was the view, a series of gallery spaces, with passageways between them, coming to an end a few galleries ahead, kind of like life.
I was at a conference last Friday and one of the "speakers" was blubbering on about fighting to "save" his 90 year old mother's life, after she experienced a massive stroke. And I was sitting there thinking you haven't saved her life, you have prolonged it, force her into another gallery, this one filled with really bad things - a place I don't want to go.
There is a fundamental truth that many people are in deep denial about, we are all going to die. There is no escaping it - no one lives forever and no one gets out of this life alive. People fear coming to the end of the journey - but it is going to happen. For some there are more galleries than there are for others, but sooner or later, we will all enter the last gallery of the journey.
For me the key is enjoying passing through the galleries of life along the way. Some are more fun or more interesting than others, but every gallery has something to offer. Aging is something we all do, not something we should fear or deny. We can take steps to make aging more pleasant; it is more fun to be 57 and well than it would be to be 200 pounds heavier and barely able to move. But I am not seeking eternal youth. You can rush through the galleries of life, and eternal youth is not in any of them. I work in aging and what is included in aging is hotly contested. Talking about aging is considered agist by some in the field of aging - think about that one for a moment. I asked my boss one day, "how do we define aging" and his answer was simple, "if you have been born, and you are not dead yet, you are aging." How many more galleries, how many more passages to journey through? I don't know, but I will try to have a little fun along the way.