I’m an old man. No point in denying it. It’s here.
And I’m keenly aware of all the debilities. I’m no longer surefooted. My hearing, damaged in combat, is deteriorating. My eyesight is weakening. I’m growing feeble—in weightlifting, I can’t manage the poundage I used to be able to. I lack energy and sleep long hours. And my memory is failing—I have trouble remembering names, I have to write down things I want to buy in the grocery store, and while composing text, I have to use the thesaurus to nail down the word I’m looking for. In short, my body, including my brain, are slowing down.
Thus the curses of aging.
But in the midst of all the downsides, I find that my ability to think is better than it has ever been. I am better able to penetrate elusive concepts. I can focus on the immaterial better than ever. I can take on universal constructs with new clarity. That means that my writing is actually improving. My ability to express myself in words has never been better.
I keep hearing that the aged have the gift of wisdom. Does that include me? Maybe. I see and understand and appreciate at levels far beyond anything possible to me as a younger man. Maybe in my maturity I am more complete.
To the degree that that is true, my fulfillment as a man is only now being reached. How outlandish to learn that actualization arrives only when the body is failing.