Aging

Give up philosophy because I’m an old man? It’s at the end of a race that you break into a burst of speed.  ~Diogenes

As my joints get creakier, my hair grayer, and my memory less reliable, I am most hopeful (and pretty confident) that Diogenes is right. Barring any serious health conditions, I expect to see more clearly (of course that’s figuratively, not literally!), understand more deeply, and be more centered as the years go on. Because it seems I learn something every day about how to be happier, I also expect to be more at peace as I age, with increasing capacity for gratitude and compassion. So I find myself today looking forward to growing in mind and spirit so that I can bear declining in body.  What’s your hope or fear for your “golden” years?

**Note:  This quote was taken from a new book by James Geary, Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists.  What an interesting character Diogenes must have been!  Geary writes: “Before arriving in Athens, where he eventually took up residence in a tub and lived with a pack of stray dogs, Diogenes was captured at sea and sold into slavery. During the auction at which he was up for sale he is said to have pointed his future owner out in the crowd and instructed his captors, ‘Sell me to that man. He needs a master.’ Diogenes got the buyer he wanted, and he went on to become the bad boy of ancient Greek philosophy.  He famously disdained conventional manners, morality, and metaphysics. The only worthwhile philosophy, he believed, was one that helped people live a good life in the here and now.”

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3 Responses to Aging

  1. Teresa says:

    My hope for my golden years is that I will actually have some, and then, if I do, that they will really be golden. I just want to play games, laugh and be with friends and family and watch the world go by. Maybe that’s not too ambitious, but the older I get, the more I simply long for peace and comfortable, fun times.

  2. Priscilla says:

    I found your comments very profound, Lyn.

    As an artist, I’ve wondered in the past couple of years if I am going to seed. In botanical terms – or at least in the local vernacular – “going to seed” means the phenomenon of a plant having that great burst of energy that Diogenes refers to and becoming hyper-productive at the end of its life. When I think of myself going to seed, I don’t really mean that I think I’m going to die anytime soon; but still it feels late in my artistic career for me to be having so many new ideas that some days I have a very hard time focusing! It is quite a heartening – if tiring and unnerving – experience.

  3. quotesqueen says:

    That’s a great analogy, Priscilla! There are times I long for that burst of creative energy, but with my working life there’s not much room for it…Glad you’re having it though–it must be exhilirating!

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