Being 60: 8
|this little bird just starting out on life...|
So my big plan to write about being 60 every day for this last year obviously went right out the window. I suppose what that means is that being 60 is no big deal, life carries on much as before, at least for some of us…
I think the biggest thing is thinking about the number of years left, the ever-decreasing number of years left for us all to live. And the other thing is wondering if you will make it without losing your mind. As my mother had Alzheimer’s I am always aware of that possibility and just how awful it could be.
More people die, that’s another thing. I have lost some wonderful friends just recently and it’s really shocking. The first was the husband of a dear yoga friend who was in his mid 60s. A group of us had all had supper that night, including them, and a few hours later he had a huge heart attack and that was it. The other friend back in England, the brother of my best friend A, was truly awful. He suffered terribly from cancer over the last few years until it finally got the better of him. I’m not sure he even made it to 60.
The grief associated with the death of friends and loved ones is something you feel in different degrees. The closer the person is to you then the harder you suffer the grief, that’s obvious. But at the same time whenever someone you know passes away, being 60 definitely changes the way you let it affect you. It makes you think of your own vulnerability, the possibility of getting some horrid illness, the necessity to keep on paying the medical insurance, and the importance of being healthy, doing exercise, eating decently, drinking moderately and just enjoying life. I feel more than ever the need to live in the present and that’s hard to do. Concentrating on what I am doing is essential for our minds, concentrating on what I am eating, where I put things, and remembering all of that afterwards is becoming more challenging, without a doubt.
Have you ever driven somewhere and ended up somewhere else? You were on automatic pilot and thinking about something else completely if that’s happened to you. In other words, that’s a classic example of not living in the present, not concentrating on what you are doing. We have to rein in our minds and hang on to them in order not to lose them. And if do manage to live in the moment, in the present, then life becomes more enjoyable. Yoga helps with that and I am currently working on that thro yoga. I have a 2 day mini course tomorrow evening and the next too, which will definitely help.
Death is always quite close here in Mexico. Today I was sitting in the traffic on my way back from the supermarket when an enormous SUV pulled out of a government office, a guy jumped out of the back and indicated that we should stop, in both lanes, to let them out, then another huge SUV came out and the first one went behind it, the guys in that one, in the back seat, bristling with guns. I saw them with the machine guns on their laps, and they were seated facing out and backwards. It’s not the first time I’ve seen that and it won’t be the last but it always freaks me out. My aim is always to put some space between them and me just in case someone takes a pot shot, you never know with politicians…
So in a couple of weeks I'll be 61 and being 60 is definitely an ongoing thing. I will keep on writing!
And I will keep this in mind, a quote from Gandhi: