August 2, 2009
One Day at a Time 

Bill and I were chatting in the socializing time before a meeting.  As we compared notes and stories on aging and the midlife saga (it is NOT a crisis, but a transformation, we both agreed), I told again the story of my father at about the same age as me now (53).  The wisdom was simple, yet it touches everyone of the "right age" that I tell it to:  "today is the age I want to be.  No younger, no older."
When younger fathers would ask my dad whether he wished he was younger and could do some of the things they could, he would reply, "I don't want to be a day younger than I am today.  I wouldn't want to go through all that other stuff again."  Unspoken, but seen in his actions, was that dad didn't want to be a day older than he was that day either.  Bill and I agreed on that, too.
Having a sense of calm and poise about aging, particularly when considering it in terms of things yet to be lived out, requires courage and faith.  Earlier in the same week, I had a difficult time in a conversation when I had to admit that I feared, seriously feared, not being able to have the wonder and experiences I had hoped for and clearly visualize in the time remaining in life.  The only resolution to the fears, I believe, is to live fully at the age you are today, not hoping for the past or yearning to get to the future any sooner than time already takes you.  Fears, of different types, are the great destroyer of life's potential.  Life can only be lived one day at a time.  If you can't be fearless, fear less.

Listen to Life is a  free newsletter about learning and getting more from life by paying attention to our own stories and the stories of others, based on the presentations, writings, photography and workshops by Dion McInnis (www.dionmcinnis.com).  Copyright 2009 Dion McInnis.  All rights reserved.

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South China Morning Post newspaper

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