As I see it, aging is a fight. Not a conflict we win, but one which we can seriously delay its eventual outcome. Any suggestion that aging is a pleasant journey, as is sometimes put forth by those in their 40s and 50s, is pure speculation bordering on fantasy. How can aging be a pleasant and looked-forward-to experience when most of how we have lived can no longer be lived?
As for me, I must fight and delay to my benefit what is “around the corner.” I need not elaborate on what aging means to those that are aging. We give up most of what we enjoyed in our youth and even middle age. We lose strength and agility and may feel our old injuries return. Simply put, we are not what we were. I am certainly not what I was.
Does this mean giving up and into the inevitable? Unarguably, the “end” is unavoidable. Yet, if we live each day to the fullest, we might delay the inescapable last breath for a considerable time. I firmly believe this because it is my experience, not my “theory.”
While I act on this conviction to live and be in ways I’ll describe in following essays, Lenette and love are the primary reasons I am alive today. Still, what I will write about are also strong contributors. During my preparations for my talk on April 3rd at the Aging Conference, I have begun to fully understand the importance of these other factors.
The first of these factors is “place.” Place is one of the weapons I believe are necessary to fight aging. Place is not just where we live; it includes the community that surrounds, supports, and shapes us.
We cannot give up—Fight the fight to stay alive—We have the weapons