Thursday, August 14, 2008

processing life

I'm tired. And this is my own doing of course because every night I stay up too late and every morning I get up too early. Even as I write it is after midnight and my running friend is going to be waiting on my steps at 6 sharp. I need to turn my internal dial back a few hours so that it works out just right but I can't stay away from late nights!! And then, there I am in the morning groggily reaching for the coffee grinder and hating how that feels to NEED it rather than choose the coffee.
Lately I have been thinking alot about growing old. And how tiring that must be every day to get up, feel achy getting out of bed, to not be able to just go out for a morning jog and guzzle a cup of coffee while simaltaneously drying your hair & eating breakfast. It has come up alot between Ryan and I in life conversations lately as we see others around us growing old. and growing older by the moment.
To clarify, I am not referring to the moments of adulthood when our dinner conversations turn to property tax and the market and I feel OLD. I am speaking of the grandfather who has been more like a parent with Alzheimers, the ever optomistic grandmother with a broken ankle who is struggling with deep sadness, the great aunt who hasn't been out of her house for 2 weeks straight and is used to gardening everyday. These are all realities for our close relatives right now and Ryan and I are at moments facing our grief head on and in other moments living in denial and fear.
I am not as terrfied of loss as I used to be but still fearful of what this future loss will feel like. We have found ourselves talking about it this week after watching the movie "The Savages" this past Saturday. It is the story of two adult children who grew up taking care of themselves due to an absent mother and an alcoholic father. Their father becomes very sick late in life and they are forced to decide what kind of care is best for him. It made very real the turmoil of making decisions about others lives and well-being, which led us to be real about the potential decisions facing our own parents.
Our conclusion, which presented itself unknowingly 5 days later over the course of a date night tonight was to ENJOY EVERY MINUTE with the people you love. Make the effort to make a phone call, to visit, to write a card, to have a conversation, whatever it is, don't hold anything back.
I think that applies to so many of my relationships and how I approach my life. I don't want to hold anything back, have any regrets, wish I would have called. I want to know I have loved those in my life as fully as I possibly could.

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