Don’t Live A Life Of Regrets

I think I was in my teens when I heard the playwright Edward Albee interviewed.  It was one of those interviews that sears your soul and that you remember over 40 years later. He said something about people who get older, like when their children who are adults and start having families of their own.  They all ask themselves the same question, which is “Did I do it right?” — meaning “Life” definitely with a capital “L.”

I think most of those people are somewhere around my age. I can understand raising the question. A friend told me on the phone last night, “My husband is depressed like everyone is when they are 70 or so.” I was surprised and told her, “It’s not like a law, you know.” My response was shocked silence. “Well, he is wondering if he ever reached his potential.” It was my turn for a moment of silence.

I thought of a million questions he could have asked himself earlier. “Did he take enough risks?  Did he do what he really wanted?  Did he make his choices because of what other people wanted? Did he make his choices out of fear? “Life expectancy is pretty good.  He can still do lots of stuff.” Like a lot of people here in southern California, he was on the periphery of showbiz.  So okay — maybe he wouldn’t be the next Justin Bieber, but he had been more interested in music creation or production.  He could do a lot of things.

By now, he ought to know depression is treatable with medications work on the “bodily” signs — on the troubles with sleep and appetite and energy and such. Speculative things are possible at any point.  Do you have to raise money, or do something else to get your “ducks in a row” to try? Do you have to learn a new skill?  It may seem a little hard, but you can build new connections between brain cells as you learn a “new” skill.  This will go a long way toward keeping your brain from aging, physically and functionally. You may decide to measure yourself another way — in other words, be easier on yourself.

I am smiling as I affectionately remember a senior woman who was proud of herself because four out of her five sons had been able to stay out of jail for all their lives. I told her that was success. I have taken many tests where 75% was a very respectable passing grade. Some people just say “I did my job and I did good,” like that mother of four sons.

Beliefs give comfort.  Typically in youth people challenge and question their beliefs.  I hope that by the time they reach senior hood, most people can find those that make them comfortable and happy.

Filed under Aging, Brain, depression, Disease, End Of Life, Family, News by on #

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