Reading through journal entries from the last 3 years I had an insight that aging offers us the same life altering opportunity as did the Covid era.
As Covid-19 advanced, and insinuated itself into our day to day reality, many people experienced fear, confusion, and uncertainty. They suffered imposed isolation with feelings of ennui, uneasiness, boredom, and a paralyzing sense of dissatisfaction, anger and disbelief. Hand wringing, doom scrolling and speculative news had too many of us enmeshed in the sky is falling scenario. Others avoided reality with binge-watching various media, ignoring health advice and/or generally acting as if this was something that a controlling government invented to contain their subjects.
Several friends mentioned their fear and unrest. They dwelt on the horribleness Covid housed. Not to diminish the horrid things that happened, many were very ill, too many died, and died alone leaving their loved ones equally bereft for their loved ones and themselves. Yet is this now how we shall live? We don’t have to deny reality but balance is important to live lives we find nurturing. As my mother taught me, do the best with what you have. So, how to combat? Live! Socialize and enjoy. It may be through video, or a backyard visit, respectful of each other’s covid strategies, but damn it, let’s figure out how to live well amidst our restrictions.
You see where this is going, right? Aging is the same. It’s our opportunity to slow down, spend quality time in the garden, go for walks, write, reflect…live. Engage in the things that nurture our soul that we had to fit in or abandon completely earlier in our lives. By aging mindfully we re-evaluate what gives us meaning and purpose in accordance with our inner wisdom. There are certainly many annoying and fearful things involved in the process that are beyond our control but I trust that embracing aging is the opportunity to finally live fully.