As one’s health challenges become more chronic, if not critical, and as one’s ability to be active and distracted declines, there is an abundance of time to consider, ponder, reflect…

My friend, John Daws (green shirt),in the recent remake of True Grit.

My friend, John Daws (green shirt),
in the recent remake of True Grit.

I have heard it said that getting old is tough. This is the time when all those health and mobility issues, that are so easily avoided when young, come to the forefront of one’s awareness. At these times resilience of spirit is required and the old John Wayne adage becomes true, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” (It seems to need a “Pilgrim” in there someplace).

During this stage of life there appears to be two options: get busy and involved with something or reflect on the cosmic circumstances of one’s soul and the influences of the infinite on longevity. There is really not much in-between except perhaps television or crossword puzzles.

I have always tended to stay active and busy with my life and work and then deal with things as they come along. That has been a way to avoid stress and sleepless nights worrying about the future. However, I wonder if some more “up front” or assertive path is needed has one moves toward the final decades of life.

I have found that awareness, and that even more subtle state of mindfulness, are elusive qualities. Also, one tends to become serious when exploring these ethereal realms and that can simply be a cover up for sadness and depression. It is essential to toss in some lightheartedness and laugher when considering the infinite. If you have ever seen the Dali Lama in action you know his spirit is playful and light.

Old age is a balance and it’s not for the fainthearted.

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As an aside: Other people are important components of both being busy and involved, and reflecting on the cosmic. And because of this I’m not going to dwell on the value of human interaction, support and love today. We’ll come back to that but too many variables get confusing.

Join us for a real-time discussion about questions raised by this essay on Tuesday from 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. See Discussion and SL tabs above for details. Link to the virtual meeting room: http://tinyurl.com/cjfx9ag.