Posted by Dianne
With the onset of shark week, I feel myself counting my blessings. Not only is the closest beach to my home, New Smyrna Beach, also known as the shark attack capital of the world, but my family is facing some life challenges serious enough to scare anyone. Way more than a silly old shark bite.
Aging stinks, but it beats the alternative. That’s what I tell myself, anyway. I’d rather be alive, aches and pains and all as opposed to being six feet underground. Life is good. Challenging, but good. For me, all is well at this point. I can still keep up with my kids and for any mom, that’s a huge marker in life.
My aging father is facing that major change in life, when one must transition from working professional to retired…retired…what? Who? Who are we when we give up our life-long adult identity?
It’s a tough question for men, one becoming equally tough for women with every passing generation. We, as writers, explore these issues for characters, but what about our own lives? Personally, I feel like writing is something I can do forever. It’s not physical. Age won’t be a factor in who gets the job. It’s about creativity. Mental capability. I’m growing older and wiser, right?
Aches and pains need not apply. My craft is mental. Except in the event I lose my faculties. Alzheimer’s, dementia…who knows what afflictions could await me down the road. What if I find myself at a place where I can no longer write? I’m not planning on it, but it could happen…
It would be tough. Real tough. And when I think about “me” in a place where I can no longer follow and “do” my passion, how would I feel?
Defeated, which opens the door to illness. “Hello aches and pains!” Looks like your back, in full force.
Old age isn’t for kids. It’s hard business. Can suck the life out of you, if you let it. I choose the alternative. Count my blessings, share them with others. Fight the good fight as long as I can while enjoying one heckuva ride!
Life is good. Family, friends, writing to my heart’s content. In the end, that’s what matters. Looking back over the path you’ve taken and being able to say, “Good. It’s been a good ride. Challenging, tricky at times, but good. I’m still here.” Turning to the path ahead and deciding, “I’m ready. Give me all you’ve got. I’m not afraid of you. Sharks, yes. The future, no. I’m going for it.”