Not as Young as I Once Was…
I knew it was bad news when the doctor moved in close and said in a somber tone; “We need to talk. Watch this video and then we’ll discuss it further.” The voice on the two minute clip began with these words; “When we were young…” This must be worst than I thought! “Were young?” When did “were” become a part of my description? After the video finished playing the doc said; “Your eyes aren’t as strong as they used to be…you need bifocals!” What?!?! Me?!?! Bifocals?!?! I remember looking at my grandmother’s glasses when I was a boy and asking; “why do your glasses look so funny? What’s this line in the middle of the lens?” I tried them on and they made my head hurt. I decided that bifocals were not for me. They were for old people! Yet, here I sat today, the eye doctor telling me what aches, pains, earlier bedtime, night trips to the bathroom, acid re-flux, a receding/graying hair-line had been saying for a while. “Brian, you’re not so young anymore.” Sigh.
The truth I must accept is; there’s nothing I can do about getting older. I once heard a comedian say; “All those health nuts and workout freaks are going to be really aggravated one day when they’re lying in a hospital bed, dying of nothing.”
Old. Why are so many of us afraid of such a small word? Maybe it’s because we equate being old with being of little use, past our prime, waiting for our demise. C.S. Lewis says; “You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” I believe that’s true but on a day I’m feeling my age I also want to make sure what I’m doing now matters. I don’t want to set only goals I might not reach. There are plenty of folks who had retirement plans and never made it that far. Life has a way of making the unexpected expected. I want to be mindful, purposeful in how I am living this day, every day, this moment, every moment. I want to know that if my last breath is drawn today or many years from now that I made a difference and I want this to be enough.