31 May 2010

Do I really want to stay young?

Lately I have been having going down memory lane… basically about the future. And when a person looks at the future… well you can’t help but look at the past as well.

In high school I was a football player. During the off season, I ran five miles a night, lifted weights for two hours a day, five days a week. And it paid off. After my senior season I received a scholarship to play football in college.

When I left for school my dreams changed and football left. And with the change of dreams my need for lifting weights and running also disappeared.

Now I look at my 52 year old body and part of me wants to chase that athletic teenager I used to be. But why? I’m not 19 years old… I didn’t enjoy it the first time… so why do I need to chase a dream that was actually a nightmare?

I’m getting older and I don’t want to turn back the clock and become something I really am not. I don’t want to become a man who is satisfied with saying, I can’t do something because I am old… but I do want to grow old gracefully.

Years ago, I kept my hair long to hide how thin it was getting. Then I finally accepted that I couldn’t stop nature and well being bald is who I am. Then as I looked in the mirror and got used to the idea that my hair was leaving I also began to see that it was turning gray. And for a couple of years I dyed it.

Then I saw a 70 year old guy with jet black hair. His whole face wrinkled with age and sporting a mop of a 20 year old. He actually looked quite pathetic. That day I realized that gray hair was also part of me… part of me growing gracefully in age.

I don’t have a death wish but I also won’t try and turn back the clock. Yes, I did quit smoking, partly for my own health and how out of place it has become.

I am about 15 pounds overweight, but that will come off in time… but I’m not going to become obsessed with it. I’ll continue to go for walks and walk to work and walk when I can… mostly because I enjoy it not because I want to stay trim and fit.

Some of the things in my life may not be healthy for me… so does that mean I shouldn’t enjoy them anymore? I know ice cream isn’t the healthiest thing for me… but I like it. Should I just abandon it because it is not healthy?

Yet carrots are healthy for me, but I’m not wild about them. But since they are healthy… should I just suffer and eat them anyway?

When I die do I really want to look like a 20 year old? Yes, it may be quite an impressive sight… but would it show how hard it was for me to stay like that… and in fact how it made it quite difficult to accept my old age… let alone my death.

No, I’d rather die with a content look on my face knowing that I lived my life gracefully and accepted my age with dignity.

2 comments:

Bobby said...

Every recovering addict knows what a a great achievement aging gracefully truly is. They have seen the darker side of what aging looks like while still in an addiction; which is not a pretty site. That you are accepting your age and working with it sober is fantastic. Keep the great perspective. It suits you as well as the wisdom you have earned over the years.

Dave Harm said...

Thank you Bobby... that is quite a compliment and one I shall cherish for a long time...

Dave