I’m not getting any younger. I’m OK with that. The part that I’m not so happy about is the slow decay of my body while I’m still living in it. That getting older part. I am acutely aware of the aging process. I have a front row seat to all that the future holds for the human body. When patients make comments about how it sucks to get older, I always joke that it’s job security for me.
It’s not that I am upset about my wrinkles or my jiggly neck or my poochy stomach or the way my thighs touch. That shit doesn’t bother me in the least (that’s a lie). What bothers me is getting up in the morning and my back hurts, or the new pain in my right shoulder blade that happened when I reached for the remote, or that I have to wear sensible shoes or my feet will hurt for days.
That part sucks because in my head I can run a marathon right now. My joints and muscles are elastic, fluid, resilient. At least they are in my mind, but not so much in reality.
I know that the best I’ll ever be from now on will be at this very moment. Entropy has me firmly in its grasp and my body is declining into disorder. Slowly, but effectively. This body will fail me, but somehow I feel like its part of a greater plan. We can’t stay here forever and if this body stayed young and vibrant, I wouldn’t want to leave it. Eventually, the body fails us, deceives us, disappoints us, and betrays us. Our hearts break literally and figuratively. It gets bad enough that leaving the body is a viable and desirable option. You know, like dying.
I think of dying kind of like being on a diving board. Some people go right to the end and jump. Some people hesitate, fearful, backing up and then going forward, realizing that the only way off is to jump, but still they linger somewhere in between. Some people get pushed when they are not ready. If you ever watch children on a diving board, the ones that are afraid but finally overcome that fear -they have a sense of accomplishment and realize how much fun it is to jump into the water. Then they want to do it over and over again, oblivious to their original fear.
Death must be like that. All this fear and then once its done, maybe it’s not as bad as we anticipated. It really doesn’t matter either way. We all have to jump off that diving board eventually because there’s no going back now.