Thoughts from an Old Man

When i woke early this morning, which is my custom, it occurred to me:

One the best things about being old is you can go to sleep whenever you wish.

One of the worst things about being old is you are always sleepy.

And another one of the worst things about being old is you never can sleep when you want to even though you have the time.

* * *

i hope my death is not untimely.

i’m not too keen on my death being timely either.

As my father said, “i’ve had a good life. Now, all i want is to go quick.” (He did just shy of 99, 11 years later.)

* * *

Bob Seger sang “I wish I didn’t know now what i didn’t know then.” i agree.

But i add, i wish i knew then what i know now.

1 thought on “Thoughts from an Old Man

  1. from Judy Gray My “This I Believe” essay

    I believe that the movies that set the stage for my girlish expectations did more good than harm, because I became optimistic that my life would have a happy ending. That hope built a kind of resiliency that allows me to get back up every time, put my game face on and square off with reality. For no good reason other than my choice, I wake up each day still expecting the best – of people, of fate, of the universe.

    I believe that we all need something to look forward to, to work toward. As a newly wed trying to explain to my husband what I needed from him, I was disheartened but not surprised when he told me I’d seen too many movies. His frustration probably stemmed from worrying that, despite his best efforts, he might not be able to give me what I needed. I wanted the soundtrack of the movie of our lives to be cheerful and sweet. My dreams for us really only asked that we learn to cherish each other and to base our relationship on tender consideration.

    A popular question is whether we would want to know our future. I say, “Nope, that’s not for me.” Unlike the movies, I don’t want to know how it ends. If I knew some of the chaos and sadness that would be coming my way, I would have lost heart. I would have tried to maneuver around the bad times. But you can’t go over them. Can’t go around them. It’s hard but true that the only way to the other side is through them.

    I believe that we all need to hold on to the Hope Rope; that’s the one that will either save us if we grab it or defeat us if we let go. Hope says, “Hang On.” It helps me realize during the tough times that it won’t always be like this. It’s my partner even as I pick through unrealistic goals and shot-down illusions. My unwillingness to settle for less encourages me to shoot for a life that is rich with curiosity and experience, not just the safe road of dreaming small. Hope affirms my perseverance when I live through unwelcome change and the sun shines on my face again. Not always happily ever after, yet happy indeed.

    There’s a lyric in the Broadway play, “Man of La Mancha” that says, “A man with moonlight in his hands has nothing there at all.” I disagree. There are so many things that bolster us that aren’t tangible – character, love of family and friends, our values and beliefs, our dreams.

    My life has held so much more than I could have imagined – more joy, more wonder, more heartache, more disappointment. If I had known the plot of my story in advance, I might not have chosen it. Yet, as a survivor of my personal wars, I can now view each trial as a treasure, a tiny victory.

    I would not have missed it.

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