A friend said that being over 70 means
there are clearly declining numbers of days left before death
there are far more things left to learn and experience than there is time for
therefore, greater discretion is now required about what to get involved with and what to skip
In particular, if you aren't that interested in reading "The Count of Monte Cristo", learning to weld or making another chocolate soufflé, find other things to do.
It is the same old story, the one where the ex-smoker, still hankering after a cig, says,"If I knew I was going to die today, I would smoke." The very last day may well arrive without identification so it could be over before you know that your deepest pleasures should be indulged right away. Well, at least those that are still possible. You can't get your first job or go on your first date. If your parents or grandparents are gone, you can't have a conversation with them.
On that last day or the day before, you may not be interested in learning Latin or doing your calculus homework. When you did learn Latin and calculate those derivatives, it was probably done because you were working for something for the future. Getting the work done was progress toward a degree and a job and a family of your own. But at some point, you have reached many of the goals you aimed for. Your energy may be lower now besides the fact that between many accomplishments and a refined sense of what you still want to do and want you don't, what remains may well be pleasure.
I don't buy the idea that nothing earthly remains after my last day of life since I am confident that my atoms, many of my possessions, some of the lessons I taught, some of those I love and maybe other links will carry on. During many of the days of life, we learn that directly trying to pursue pleasure, whoop it up, stuff ourselves with chocolate and martinis brings only limited pleasure and quickly becomes old. Maybe some sort of self-sacrifice would be best for the last hours, if I can get out of bed. I could look for an old lady and help her across the street (whether or not that is where she is headed). I could babysit for a burdened mom who needs to run to the store, if I am not so wrinkled that I scare her children. I could just stare out of the window and not be a burden.
It might make sense to begin a little focused practice right now. I promise to look toward the things that are fun and pleasurable, even if they don't seem that way to others.
Main blog: Fear, Fun and Filoz
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