life, ageing and dying

Brain started morbidly riffing after the last post, so I’m carrying straight on…

Ageing in a certain way is utterly terrifying.  While the physical act of ageing can’t really be prevented and shouldn’t be massively worrying, the unpredictable loss of faculties is a horrible prospect.  Age imposes itself so arbitrarily, presuming you’re fortunate enough to make it to a stage one might reasonably call ‘old’.  When is that anyway? 

You see relatively sprightly 60, 70, even 80-somethings, both in mind and body, who never seem to have too much wrong with them, at least mentally.  Then one day, perhaps following a brief illness, they simply die. 

Then there are those who die in a sickening, long, drawn-out fashion, losing faculty after faculty, like pieces of machinery falling off a car. 

And then there are those, who miserably live on for a long time, not enjoying life and who have little to motivate or interest them.  Although they have their faculties and health, their zest for life has dwindled long ago, but basic tedious habit keeps them going, possibly even in the face of a private wish that something would pack up on them.

It’s easy to look fondly at retirement age through a comparatively young person’s lens.  All the things you could do, places you could go, time you would have to read, to think, to listen.  To not have to fret about work.  It’s a brilliantly, compelling tantalising prospect. 

But that’s through younger, less tired eyes.  It seems incomprehensible, but appetite for newness might dip as you grow older.  Not desiring new information – especially now, today, with all the media that saturates our lives – it seems an absurd notion.  How could you not want to know what’s going on? 

(Or WILL that actually change for this current Information Age generation?  Will there be a proliferation of laptops, games consoles and Wiis in the retirement homes of the 2050s?) 

Some, the really long-lived, will probably and understandably tire of life though; the way, after a while, it might just seem to be repeating itself over and over again.  The same basic human flaws exposed both in close family and on the global political scale.

Attitude is always shaped by experience, the people you’ve known and loved, or haven’t, and your basic outlook.  Those lucky enough to be surrounded by people they love at most stages of their lives might be more prone to transmit their affections and enthusiasms through those people. 
They can appear injected with a relentlessly buoyant spirit, which can be wonderfully infectious. 

While those without… if they learn to deal with it, with life and its sadness, loneliness, if it just becomes normal – then perhaps they just get insanely bored by it all.

Hrm.. there’s a cheerful thought…    : D


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