Growing older doesn't bother me. What bothers me about aging is losing my vitality – my energy. At one time I might have described myself as vivacious (lively and animated), but as I get older, vivaciousness appears to be dripping out of me like condensation from a cold bottle of water on a hot summer day.
So many things animate me – kids, writing, conversations that deeply engage me, ideas, creativity, and surprising discoveries. Twitches of excitement cause electrical impulses to race through my brain at an alarming speed.
I become a ball of energy (perhaps too) tightly wound. Often, I grab thoughts as quickly as possible for fear of losing them before they escape my attention. Thankfully, I'm fairly quick about capturing them and recording them.
But what if – one day – I sit down to write and I can't think?
My biggest fear about aging is losing that vitality, that essence of energy that drives my body, my thoughts, and my spirit.
Will my brain slow down as I get older? Will my body fall apart? I already have a bad back and a bunch of other physical ailments. Getting older can't mean that I will lose my vitality.
Breast cancer slowed me down, but it didn't stop me. Although I still don't have the same level of energy I had before I got breast cancer, I look forward to the day – four and a half years from now – when I'm finished with chemo, so I can regain some of my former energy.
And then I think about all those residents I've seen in nursing homes. Their lethargic stance with their slumped shoulders, their sad eyes, and their non-smiling mouths seem so pitiful to me.
The thought of being in a nursing home saddens me. I want to ask the residents, "Did you accomplish your goals? Were you happy? Did you ever feel victorious?
Or do you find joy only in your memories?"
My mom is 77 years old and as vivacious as many 30 year olds. She could walk circles around me. Though my age sounds old (I will turn 60 this year), I don't feel old. Maybe I come by that naturally. I hope to be as full of vitality as my mom is when I get to be her age.
I also hope to experience joy, hope, and love all the way up until the time I depart this world.
After all, what is life without joy – without hope – without love? I want a life filled with joy, with laughter, and with love. I want to feel victorious.
Want some laughter in your life? Check out Humor Outcasts (click the link) for some amusing stories. It will tickle your funny bone.
And from there, the rest of you will respond, because, as we all know, your funny bone's connected to your head bone (I know – most people call it a skull), your head bone's connected to your shoulder bones…and as you feel shivers running all the way down to your feet, you'll find your toes are tingling with vitality.
And that completes Day #22 from the A-Z Challenge. Brought to you by the letter, V.
Previous A-Z Challenge blogs:
Amazon Hates Me – Day #1 from the A-Z Challenge
Bored – Why? – Day #2 from the A-Z Challenge
Craziness – Day #3 from the A-Z Challenge
When Your Daughter Develops, DON'T DO THIS! – Day #4 from the A-Z Challenge
Ellen – Day #5 from the A-Z Challenge
Family and Friends – Day #6 from the A-Z Challenge
The Grownup Table – Day #7 from the A-Z Challenge
Happiness & Joy – Day #8 from the A-Z Challenge
Idiots in the Attic – Day #9 from the A-Z Challenge
Jokes Accidentally – Day #10 from the A-Z Challenge
The Kid That Wasn't Named Ker – Day #11 from the A-Z Challenge
Living Out of Suitcases – Day #12 from the A-Z Challenge
Misunderstandings – I KNOW You Didn't Say What I THINK You Said
Networked Blogs on Facebook
The Old and The Elderly – At What Age Do You FEEL Old?
Peacocks Are Not Penguins
Quiz That Changed My Thinking
Reading Les Miserable
Sense and Nonsense
The Traumatization of a Third Grader