I have really enjoyed this whole LJ experience over the past 7 years. I have met so many wonderful folks, the majority of them are just getting started in their lives. I have eagerly taken on a papabear role because I know it helps to have someone with some experience from which you can bounce ideas off of. I had a wonderful aunt who was that person to me. It's great to see people coming into their own and making their own discoveries. Hopefully I can drop a few words of wisdom when I see someone heading for a similar pitfall I might have made many years ago.
Conversely I hope the youngin's are also reading my LJ and seeing what it could be like down the road. When you hear about aches and pains and the whole slowing down process, you can have a little more inspiration to get out there and do shit before it's too late. Don't waste your best days sitting in front of a video game, and ESPECIALLY don't spend that time alone. Surround yourself with friends with whom you can share the experiences.
I guess there are 2 reasons why I'm making such a post. The first is that Kitty and I watched the movie "Departures" over the weekend which is a Japanese flick that won the Best Foreign Film Oscar last year (and rightfully so!) It's the story of a musician who loses his performing gig and ends up in a job where he prepares the dead for "casketing." Along the way he learns a lot about life. There are many themes throughout the movie, but the one that is most obvious is that one should celebrate life daily. Never take the preciousness of life for granted.
The second reason is that I have a birthday coming up in a few weeks so of course it is natural to start contemplating ones own life. I used to laugh at the movies that portrayed middle-aged men with the stereotypical mid-life crisis which usually involved a red sports car and a young blonde bombshell. While I could do w/o the car and the girl, the whole underlying message of capturing that last grasp of youth is certainly true! I posted on my birthday a few years ago a quote from the movie "Network" which is one of my favorites. The quote deals with a man in crisis (William Holden) who sees that "the end is closer than the beginning." That feeling certainly creeps into your brain more and more as you get older.
I guess the whole basis for this post is that I am also facing that tightrope one must walk as one gets older. I will jump the gun and say that the answer is moderation, but the question is, "Do I live life to the fullest and be damned of the consequences or do I restrict myself so that I can live this life as long as possible?" Does one savor the plate of bacon and eggs or does one limit himself to oatmeal? I have been trying to be good lately. I have cut down the alcohol consumption, but still enjoy my martinis. I go out for an extra walk during lunch hour. I will have a nice big salad at least once a week. I don't want to become the guy who had a heart attack and now can only eat a plain baked chicken breast. It's too bad we can't choose when our time is up, or at least know the date in advance. I used to think that I would never want to know something like that, but now I do. You would know how much you would have to work and save. You could ration your time so that you could fit everything in. You could say all you needed to say to those you love. And no, I will not say the mushy ending of "you should live your life like that anyway, every day!"