Lately I am feeling like the future is a very sweet ingredient of getting older. I must admit though that I don't have that feeling every day and I am still learning how to accept this new feeling.
It's like the future is no longer something that is "later". It has an urgency that I have not experienced before. In fact it seems so present to me that it is shouting and maybe even a little demanding with each passing year. When I was younger I thought I could put off doing what I needed.
A college degree could be put off till after I get back to a normal life! I be more compassionate after I get the new job. I'll have time in 3 years to really study music and the guitar! The list went on and on. There was no urgency in life? There was always plenty of time! Then in August I came running in to my sixty-fifth birthday; relatively secure, brimming with enthusiasm and self-confidence, and in pretty good health and yet I was depressed. Not a deep "Get yourself to the Doctor!" kind of depression...more like a malaise. Not wanting to get out of bed, or coach people, or exercise, see friends, practice the guitar, or even write in this blog.
After contemplation and the opportunity to sit with some wonderful and very wise people I realize now that what has occurred in me is an increased inner awareness of time, actually, the absence of it. I am being introduced to my own mortality. This has led to the inevitable question: Do I fill up the remaining time or just "live out the string", waiting to pass? Although I am embracing the notion that filling it up is better than waiting for the end it is not clear what I will fill it with. Busy-ness or purposeful-ness?
I am coming to understand at a very personal level that old age (There, I said it!) is the time for letting out the authentic version of David. Whatever I want to do I could do, with some limits. Whatever I want to say, I can say. I could be dangerous too! According to Joan Chittister I could be dangerously alive. Or dangerously involved. Or dangerously truthful. Or dangerously fun-loving. Or all of those and much more. And this is what brings me back to the sweetness.
Today is a time for living and it is a sacred gift that each of us is given every twenty-four hours. It is a powerful reminder of life. I am not given this day simply to become a day older and less alive. The future starts today! How I live each day is everything I have to give back.