Aging and What We Do as We Age
by Irwin Lengel
As I lie in bed this evening waiting for my wife to put drops in my eyes for Glaucoma, my eyes glance around the room taking in the various things we tend to keep near us and one begins to wonder why we keep what we keep.
First thing that caught my eye is a book by Barbara De Angeles, Ph.D. Entitled “Real Moments "– a book I have read several times and keep it by my bedside because I enjoy her writing. Thinking about the book causes me to also wonder why, in our seventies, we (my wife and I) keep up with so many different items instead of focusing on just one or two passions. Some people crochet, others golf, some read several hours a day, others play cards once or twice a week, etc.
I will be the first one to admit (although I am sure my wife would disagree) that I have varied so-called passions, one of which is writing. Others include line dancing, reading (when I take the time), being on the computer via Social Media or websites such as this one or my blog “Lakeland Musings” on Word Press.
But apparently none of them are what one might say I am truly “passionate” about. I say this because many times I find myself doing other things versus just sitting down and reading or actually taking the time to write as I am doing with this post. In my humble opinion, making time on a regular basis to do that which one loves to do is a “passion”, not doing it every now and then because one has to get something written or read.
Fact of the matter is that lately I sort of wish I only had one passion that kept my interest. I say this because there are times that I feel as though I have spread myself so thin, doing this and doing that and in essence, I haven't given any of the interests I do like a fair chance of becoming a true passion – one that I cannot wait to sit down and get into, if you will.
Case in point, in addition to the book by Ms. De Angeles, next to my bed are several other books, books by Jonathan Kellerman (mysteries), a book by Robert Parker (anyone remember the Spenser series), a book written by Alan Alda (Never Have Your Dog Stuffed), the autobiography of Eli Wallach (The Good, the Bad, and Me), and I even have a book entitled “Life – How did it get here – Evolution or Creation”. Some of them I started but never finished, others I have yet to read the first page.
While I say I love to read and I really do, fact of the matter is that lately I do not seem to take the time to read. Another interesting thing kept in our bedroom is a set of barbells. At times I think they are there to remind me that I need to get into shape but – at the moment, they, like the books, are merely taking up space.
As we age, least-ways I find myself asking the question: “Where has the time gone and by the way, did my interests in such things as writing and reading go with it?
But then I also say to myself that perhaps it is for the best that we are still so active that we never seem to have time to do such things as sit and read or write for any great length of time. Why? Because there are days that we leave our house at 8:15 AM and do not return until 3 or so in the afternoon. We actually call those good days because while we do not go to a gym to stay in shape, between our line dancing and these daily outings for lack of a better way to describe them, we do meet our daily goal of walking 6000 steps a day.
I know from experience that many of our Sundays we don't even hit 2000 steps. Because we are in the house either watching TV or on our computers or some other sedentary function (I know reading and writing would fall into this category – but for one reason or another, my time spent on Sunday is doing things other than reading and writing).
I guess that as we age, being more than three-quarters of a century old, I should be thankful that we are still able to do the things we do. Perhaps as we get older, and have to slow down, we will then have the time to read, write, and play with our computers.
But then there is the age old question – will our minds still allow us to do those things? One never knows from one day to the next what is in store for us.
What about you? How are you spending your days?