Feeling It

neillold

When I was 69 years old, my wife Muri and I were at a Neil Diamond concert at (of course) the Greek Theater. Isn’t it odd to see your childhood favorites age along with you? At the intermission, an older gentleman (six years older, to be exact) and I were talking. For some reason, he felt compelled to bestow on me these prophetic words: The road from 69 to 75 is a tough one. At sixty-nine I was blogging here regularly and based on my posts, several of my back-then readers had told me, You seem to have this aging down. I believed I did and so I filed the advice from my momentary concert acquaintance as his problem, not mine. But he was right.

At the moment … at the end of a long month … I am feeling every bit of 74 years old. on the heels of an ankle injury of unknown origin (that kept me on crutches for a week and a half), I have been dealing with sometimes debilitating pain in my legs. I start the morning shuffling to the bathroom, then back to my chair to the comfort of the heating pad, which gives me enough mobility to let my cat, Claude, out of my office, start a cup of coffee in the Keurig, and carefully descend the stairs to get my ice pack, a little miracle right in my freezer, next to the ice cream. A couple of 20 minute sessions on my lower back and I’m moving like I’m 69 again, albeit with a bit more discomfort. I believe the issue is sciatica, something I’ve dealt with before but, yes, I have an appointment with my doctor to get a professional opinion next week.

So, I’ve been (over)thinking, an affliction that will likely follow me to the grave. Exactly what does Having this aging down mean at 74? How do I continue to find joy in life when days start … and sometime end … painfully? When friends and family and friends of friends pass from this world or slip into end of life diseases like Alzheimers? And others face chemotherapy and open heart surgery that makes me wonder, When is my turn? When later-life decisions are predicated more on what I should do than what I want to do?

Many (not all) of the things that brought me joy at 69 are still around at 74, it is just harder not be distracted by life’s difficulties. Those of us with Older Eyes are more prone to depression than those with younger and I am no exception. I take Prozac daily to

hole

keep away from the edges of the black hole but life can still make me take a peek over the edge. A symptom of depression is losing interest in things that used to give you pleasure. Beyond medication, this can be treated behaviorally: by doing things that used to give me joy even if I don’t feel like it, I discover they still do. This post is an example. That is covered, I believe, by my friend Barry’s motto: Keep Moving. Living One Day at a Time and remembering This Too Shall Pass helps. For me, practicing gratitude is essential. That means actively finding the things I am grateful for, yes, even

moving

if I don’t feel like it. Harder is finding things to be grateful for in life’s difficulties then simply accepting the rest. I have wrestled with believing in God for most of my life, but at his point the struggle helps me find acceptance, even when I don’t find a faith that matches that of others. And of course, there is my small band of fellow travelers, friends and family to help me find my way when I’m lost or to simply say, I’ve been there.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my back is feeling better and I need to Keep Moving, visit a friend in the hospital and maybe catch a movie. Have a grateful day.

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One Comment on “Feeling It”

  1. barrythewiz Says:

    You know I know EXACTLY what you mean. Hang in there old friend and KEEP MOVING. Gotta head down to the treadmill šŸ˜‰


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