Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Hope I Die Before I Get Old

Only young people think that way. Now that I am getting old, I very much want to live.

So it turns out that middle age is depressing.

Indeed it is. There are good days and bad days, but for me the depression is realizing that someday I am truly going to die. There's no escaping it.

For many years I got away with not thinking about it - it seemed so far off. Now that I've been in nursing school and have seen people my age shuffle off the mortal coil, the reality is clear. I was really freaked out to see people my age unable to turn over in bed, suffering from dementia, having limbs amputated from complications of diabetes and unable to finish a complete sentence after years of smoking.

I can't get away with not taking care of myself. In the past I told myself I would eventually get around to eating right, exercising and not smoking. No longer.

My daughter and I started a pact this week. She went for her anual check-up and found that she had gained some 30 pounds over the previous year. She decided to change her eating habits and exercise more. I want to quit smoking and so will cut down gradually. Our pact is that we will check in with each other once a week and talk about our progress, our obstacles, any problems we're having, and to give each other moral support.

If I do nothing else, at least I can be an example. My hope is that I will get back to the state of health I was in before I started nursing school. It seems like an eternity. With the end in sight, it feels doable though. Watching my daily habits will help tick off the days to graduation.

And, no, I have no idea how many days it is. It's less than 100. That's all I know.

It's probably about the number in years that I would like to live to.

1 comment:

Madam Z said...

Thanks for leaving the comment on "The Pharmacist" site. It led me to *your* site, which is wonderful! You sound like a strong, intelligent woman, and you write well too! If I get sick and go to the hospital, I would like you to be my nurse.

I am now about half way up the right-hand side of the U-curve. I may not be a whole lot happier than I was in my forties, but my will to live has increased. That's rather paradoxical, don't you think?

We have something else in common. I went back to college when I was in my mid-thirties. Being an "older student" gave me a different attitude and perspective than I had when I was 18.