On getting older

I’m in a bit of an odd mood today — retrospective, I guess, but also a tad anxious, because I’m about to have a couple of “procedures” done next week that involve relieving pains in a body that’s obviously aging. And it appears I’m not alone. My friend Doc Searls is also having quite a week physically. He went through a blood clot in his lung earlier this year, and I feel for him.

I’ve been having upper right abdominal pain of late, and the diagnosis is a gallbladder that isn’t working. It’ll come out some time next week, I believe. On Tuesday, however, I’m having a large kidney stone blasted that was discovered during testing for the gallbladder. Medicine is like that, you know: look for one thing and find something else. I also had a melanoma removed from my back this week, so Doc and I sound like we belong in some old folks home somewhere, LOL.

In addition, I’ve also started on blood pressure and cholesterol medicines this week. My nightstand looks like a bloody pharmacy. This is a good thing, I think, because I certainly don’t want to court a heart attack.

I’ll be 62 next month, and there’s just no escaping that which Life has in store, the only certainty of which is death. “Three score and ten” is what the Bible promises. Anything beyond that is gravy, so I know that I have to take care of myself from here on out (something I did a really poor job of most of my life). There’s so much to write, so many things to say. That’s what keeps me going. Besides, I’m having so much fun these days enjoying every minute, and I’m not about to bring the curtain down just yet.

Still, it is sobering to ponder one’s fate and in so doing understand the insignificance that is each of us. Our world lacks two things that old age seems to bring: humility and the submission to an internal governor, what I call Life (or God).

My prayer for you is that you find these things before the years force them upon you. There is no greater conquest in this life than one’s self.


  1. Be well, my friend. I can tell the readers that any travel with Terry is an assurance that he is as energetic and lively a companion as you would find in anyone regardless of their age. If age is a state of mind, Terry’s a fun, exciting and hilarious kid.

    And when I bitched about turning 40, he’d have none of it.


  2. “Our world lacks two things that old age seems to bring: humility and the submission to an internal governor, what I call Life (or God)” So true!

  3. You have my sympathy and a curious fellow feeling. Like you I have gallstones and a heart condition. Both discovered as a result of having Bell’s Palsy and a series of medical investigations that followed.

    Age and its consequences seems to creep up on you. I find it hard to believe that I am going to be 63 in a few days. In my head I am still that that young, curious man of forty years ago or so. Of course, some of that is nonsense. Experience does make a difference and I wouldn’t trade what I have learnt over the years to get back that physical condition of forty years ago. But maintaining curiosity, a sense of wonder and desire to have some understanding of the world does seem something worth retaining, particularly since we seem to be moving to one of the most interesting phase of human life on this planet.

    So let’s focus on keeping inquiring minds and exploring the world outside and let’s not get too submissive to the internal governor.

  4. I go with Richard, we are sitting at the bottom of the steepest learning curve in human history, we are going to have to be full of curiosity and desire to learn and willing to suggest to the governors that they are the ones who led us into the muddy in the first place and should step aside.

    I think Saltation wraps it up pretty nicely if, as is usual, slightly coarsely.

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