Of late I’ve been consumed with thinking about this time of my life and trying to stay conscious and present with all the emotions, the concerns, and the delights that arrive. At 75, my body ages, following its normal biological design. No need to argue with, or deny, the facts. At this moment, I’m not liking “being attached” to a walker, even though it’s less about age than the residue of illness, and my daily attempts to divest myself of this aid are beginning to bear fruit. On the other hand, I am really liking feeling so young in spirit, grateful to be useful, and to be able to enjoy my glorious and refreshing summer swims.
Contemplating this third chapter of life I currently inhabit, I note it contains my extra longevity bonus, my challenge to “rightsize” my life, and those pesky aspirations not to leave an end-of-life “mess” for my siblings. All of these have become a source of intrigue. How will I do it? And by extension, how will others do it? How will I/we stay conscious throughout?
Will I/we manage to live well and fully, age gracefully, and plan a peaceful death, as are the tasks that I believe constitute this third and final life chapter, most of which we did not anticipate?
For me, one way to stay present on this journey of mine is to keep writing. As my questions and contemplations make their way into public space, a new book is taking shape.
I would love it to be a collaborative effort. For those who know they are going to die and want to live fully along the way, please take time to share below your questions. If you’ve already given yourself some answers, what are they? How are you feeling about entering, or living in, your own “third chapter” of life?