Enjoying the decline

Turning 50 has begun a bodily descent which I’m actually quite enjoying. Slower steps and quiet thoughts are a welcome change. Now I understand why rocking chairs are made.

The above was posted on Facebook which prompted some comments that I was “digging a grave.” My following response was intended to clarify my meaning.

My post wasn’t meant to be a downer. The perception of my declining faculties is a pleasant reminder of the churning cycle of arriving and disappearing generations. My slowing metabolism, aching joints and increasing susceptibility to disease increases my joy in simple activities like a walk with the dog, or a happy lunch on a mountain boulder like I did today with my friend Hieu. My fading short-term memory and increased difficulty learning new things makes me appreciate the rich wealth of long-term remembrance which fill my head from five decades of active, joyful living. And best of all, the clear and present fact that I’m walking a razor edge of life with oblivion on either side, and that everyone I know is treading their own similar narrow passage, causes me to catch my breath when my daughter sits down beside me to share a funny video, or when my wife and I enjoy a shared memory from youth. I love getting old. I appreciate feeling my body aging and beginning to weaken. I enjoy the fact that my mind is starting to fade. It’s the best reminder of mortality I know. And the truest reason to choose life in the quite brief time remaining.

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