12.31.2020 – I have come to see

I have come to see
growing old as privilege.
pleased to have made it

New Years Eve and what to say?

Happily for me I came across a terrifically sad happy story.

Or is it a terrifically happy sad story.

Splitting hairs so who cares.

I came across an article written by a someone whose medical diagnosis is for a few months to live.

That was a few months ago.

He is 31 years old.

Desperate to try anything he tried anything.

He writes, “And after pinning my hopes on the idea of a drug trial for so long, it took just over a week for it to batter me. My days involved moving from my room to the sofa, feeling like I had flu and struggling with mental fog. Almost immediately I realised I just couldn’t do it. Life for me is about living, not just clocking up the years. And this drug made living almost impossible.”

He then decided all he could do was reflect.

One of his reflections is,  a life, if lived well, is long enough.

He added, “This can mean different things to different people.”

Then he wrote these lines.

“Knowing that my life was going to be cut short has also changed my perspective on ageing.

Most people assume they will live into old age.

I have come to see growing old as a privilege.

Nobody should lament getting one year older, another grey hair or a wrinkle.

Instead, be pleased that you’ve made it.

If you feel like you haven’t made the most of your last year, try to use your next one better.”

I remember watching an interview with Harold Macmillan late in his life.

He said he envied young people and their feeling they would live forever.

He was asked if he really thought that was true, that young people thought they would live forever?

Mr. Macmillan answered immediately, “Of Course they do. Who is going to go up over the top of the trenches but that they think they will live forever.”

Times can look pretty bleak.

On the one hand this last year has been pretty bleak.

On the other hand, in my life, it is as if someone wiped the board clean of all the hotels, houses and properties and I am getting a chance to start the game all over again.

From where I was last year, I have landed, completely unexpectedly, in a new world.

I am not going to take my good fortune for granted.

I can get fussy and wonder why did this happen so late in my life.

But then I realize I had a late in life so that things like this could happen.

And I am grateful.

Getting to live where I live and work where I work is a priveledge.

But so is being 60 years old a privilege.

If I am making any resolutions, I will be promising to remember this.

And, as the feller wrote, if I feel like I haven’t made the most of this last year, I will try to use my next one better.

Inspired by the article: At 31, I have just weeks to live. Here’s what I want to pass on.

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