Yesterday my husband and I bumped into an old man that I used to go to church with. I haven’t seen him in years before yesterday. I immediately recognized him, and him me.
“Oh my dearest sweetheart! How are you? You are more beautiful than ever. I was just thinking…” and so he started. Full of energy and love and excitement and life as ever. He turned 81 the other day, but his heart and soul isn’t older than 20.
When you get old, you have two choices:
All your life you climb a very high mountain. And then on some unknown day, you reach the top. That is when your mind decides you’re old. For some, this is at the age of 50. For others. This day simply never arrives, until their day of death.
When you reach the top of the mountain, whether knowingly at 50, or unknowingly at 96, you have a choice. You can either walk down the mountain, survive a few extra years as an old person, or you can jump. Jump to your death of course.
This sounds dark and negative. But see it this way:
There’s two old men. Twins. Same age, same genetics.
The one accepted his old age mentally at age 50. He walked slower and slower, drove slower, got ill more often. In his mind he accepted that he reached the top of the mountain by 50. So slowly he started walking down the mountain, going to an old age home, saying no to certain things because he was “too old”; getting older everyday.
On his way down the mountain, he passed his brother, on his way to the top, despite the fact that they were the same age. He was still skydiving, riding his skateboard, getting a tattoo, going overseas and living his life. Then one day, at the age of 92 the one brother reached the bottom of the mountain, he died, he was on his death bed for the last 48 months, he was living in an old age home for the last 20 years
The other brother reached the top of the mountain by aged 92 too! And jumped. He was on his way to go surf when he got a heart attack, and died (he jumped).
This isn’t a very nice story, I know. But death is inevitable. And you are only as old as you tell yourself you are. When I bumped into the old man yesterday, he was far younger by heart than I was. He was living life. He bought a box of hair dye for his wife, because he thought it was funny. He didn’t have a care in the world. One day, his life will end, but he wouldn’t have lost one minute of his life wasted on worrying, old age or ending his life slowly and peacefully.
Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional. “Don’t grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.”
Live your life. Do what you want to do. And when you reach the top of the mountain, be sure that you did everything you wanted to do in your life. With no regrets.
I know this is written very messy. But I want to express the wake-up call of seeing someone almost 4 times my age, that would probably be able to kick my ass.