(my take on the sixth part of 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy)
Occasionally…very occasionally…I get a brilliant blinding insight that comes right out of left field. It may have something to do with spending a lot of time by myself driving on a 3300 mile road trip this summer.
The insight? People who don’t live life gracefully don’t seem to stand much of a chance of growing old gracefully. That might seem obvious, but at this stage of my life I’m confronted by some new realities of watching family grow old. And I’m not sure I like what I see – in me.
I can’t control the constant stream of bitching about politics, idiot doctors, failing body functions, prices … the list seems endless. I can pray for serenity to accept that I can’t change these things. I’m grateful for the few days I can take advantage of that serenity until I gracefully make my escape for home.
But what about the things I can change? I keep seeing hints and clues about why I am the way I am, why I behave this way. Clues that spring out of literally generations of people who never gave up complaining and seldom grew old gracefully. I don’t much like seeing that in the mirror. I don’t much care for how easy it is for me to get sucked right back into that extended family system so thoroughly my life is mired in one long crescendo of complaint.
It’s not too late to start living gracefully in a life of less complaint, but I don’t have all the time in the world to start. It needs to happen today because I know how I want to live as I grow old.