24 February 2011

What Am I Missing?

The Great Clod burdens me with form, labors me with life, eases me in old age, and rests me in death.

So the other day the envelope with the invitation to join AARP showed up in my mailbox.  "At last!" I thought to myself, "Now a whole new world of senior discounts is beginning to open up to me!"  I really was excited.  I know someone else who received the same invitation recently, threw the thing in the trash, and announced that he didn't want to be reminded he was getting old.  No Modern Maturity for him!

When I was in my 20's I thought 40 was old.  Part of that view stemmed from the fact that my dad and mom are, respectively, only 23 and 21 years older than I am.  Part of that view stemmed from the fact that I was young, cocky and seemingly invincible.

Then I got cancer at 29, and my view of life, death, age and the rest morphed into something a bit more realistic.  At the time of my diagnosis, the cancer I had was comparatively easy to treat; most who got it thirty years before I did got a very early grave.  Knowing that, I started to think of the rest of my life as a kind of freebie, a gift, something that I wasn't entitled to and so was all the more grateful for.  Each day was a bonus, no matter how many or how few lay ahead.

So I really don't give a shit about getting older.  It's not that it doesn't have its issues: I've had three discs go in the last 10 years, for instance.  I just find I can't begin to grasp the anti-aging sentiment.  Not at all.  

Many, many others have it, though, so I do wonder: are they seeing something I'm not?  Maybe I'm the stupid one here.

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