When I was a young faculty member, I remember a faculty member who kept agitating for our department to teach a course in geriatrics. How boring, I thought. Who wants a course about old age when all the exciting things in life are finished.
Oh my my my. How wrong I was.
Getting old is one of the most fascinating, unexpected, and often enjoyable experiences of my life.
Yes, neither my husband or I are suffering from some of the diseases that typically appear among the retired that can cause so much pain and distress. And although we’re not rich, we are not poor and we don’t have to choose between eating and heating, which is my short-hand definition of poverty.
And many of the challenges of one’s younger years are already faced as well. I don’t worry much anymore if people like me, if I’ve attractive enough, if my chosen career has any intrinsic value.
But getting old is also rewarding in itself. Just having a life to live somehow seems more wonderful, more amazing. And terribly surprising. I find all sorts of things I never appreciated before are now quite beautiful.
I have less energy than I used to though, and I have developed a strategy that I find is essential if I’m not going to drive myself absolutely mad. I get a great deal more satisfaction if I set goals for myself that are realistic in terms of what I can reasonably accomplish today – not what I could do even five years ago.
Less really is more. I go to bed at night feeling much happier if I have accomplished my more modest achievements for the day than if I go over an impossibly long list of things I said I was going to do and didn’t.
All of which is a rather long explanation about why I’m not blogging every day anymore.
I do hope it’s included in the times when less is more.