Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Aging Process

by M. J. Joachim

Aging, the process of growing older, complete with aches, pains and strange sensations…

Our bodies have a way of letting us know we’re not spring chickens anymore. The way I see it, we can spend time at the doctor’s office fighting it, or we can stand firm in our resolve to never let aging get in the way of living.

We live in a society that wants to feel 1,000% all the time, except it’s simply not possible. Consequently, many people go to the doctor and end up taking dozens of prescriptions meant to help them function like they did when they were young. The only problem is they don’t function like they did when they were young. They function like they’re high on a myriad of legalized drugs. They write a life story of being unable to function and turn the natural process of aging into an illness, whereby they now have the excuse necessary to bail on life.

Any one of us could do it. We could all go to the doctor and cry foul. Sometimes we need to – to make sure nothing serious is going on. Obviously if something serious is going on, we need to address it. However, if nothing serious is going on, we need to continue living.

Over the course of a lifetime, our bodies, minds and souls get slammed. It happens to everyone and each person handles it differently. Wear and tear isn’t a knee going out; it’s a psyche messing with us big time. It’s a psyche telling us that we should somehow be super human and fix the process of aging – the process whereby our bodies, minds and souls get slammed.

As we age, we won’t be able to hike the mountain at the same pace our kids and grandkids do. When we’re done hiking the mountain with them, we’re likely going to need a rest, while they’re ready to go for a swim in the lake. We’ve earned this. We’ve earned the right to eat milder foods and sleep a little more. We’ve earned the right to relax and not push so hard. We’ve earned the right to not worry so much. We’ve earned the right to enjoy life from a different perspective – the one of having lived it, sometimes harder than we should have.

What we haven’t earned is the right to bail and excuse ourselves from living. We haven’t earned the right to check out, complain and numb the process of aging. It’s a cop-out, an excuse, a lie. Aging isn’t an illness. It’s the process of getting old. It doesn’t need a pill. That would qualify as a want for those who refuse to grow old gracefully.

Mid-life slows you down; it doesn’t stop you in your tracks. Old age gives you time to reflect more, and the right to nod your head and smile. Physical quirks will come and go. They’re bound to. Fixing them is not always an option. Finding out what causes them isn’t always an option either. Living, that is the only choice we have, and I don’t know about you, but I want to experience life through the aging process, not numb it and find an excuse to complain and bail in the coming years. I don’t want to have better relationships with my doctors and meds, than I do with my own family. And I don’t want to roll over and die.

Thank you for visiting Effectively Human.

M. J.

Photo credit:  Global Median Age (2006), Joeyramoney – Wikipedia Project, Public Domain
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