Waking Up…
To Getting Old

I danced with death twice in 2008, and once I realized it, it transformed me. Those dances radically changed my Weltanschauung. All of us know that we are mortals. However, until you danced with death on your dancefloor of life, your knowledge-base is intellectual information. Once you have successfully done the dance, you grasp that reality in your gut. Trust me. There is a vast difference between the two.

I have written hundreds of essays about Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. When I first watched The Last Lecture, I felt like Archimedes. I, too, was having a eureka moment. I have lived over a decade and a half longer than Pausch.

As a consequence, I have grown older but haven’t done the dance with aging. Sure, we will hopefully grow older, but I missed the message precisely like doing the dance with death. I was oblivious to aging. I had telltale signs like I needed stronger glasses and hearing aids. I can’t do things like run cross-country as I did in high school or college, but it didn’t dawn on me that I was truly aging.

My eureka moment related to growing old came crashing down upon me after surgery on my tarsal tendon and tarsal tunnel syndrome. The surgery went fine, but I have walked around my home with a walker for four weeks. When not hobbling around my house, this is how I navigated the stairs.

On December 1st, the brace and all the wrapping around my leg will be removed. Finally, I will be free to walk around in my world. Ginger, who is my 80-pound Irish Setter, and I will be able to circumnavigate the lake early in the morning or play Chuckit in fields near my home.

Finally, I won’t be hobbling around quasi-incapacitated as I have for a month. Nonetheless, that experience is a harbinger of my foreboding path, which lies ahead. Essentially, that feeling of being unable to be fully functional paralleled my dances with dance. I made it through my aging process this time. However, how many more times do I have in my unknown journey down my yellow brick road? Eventually, my journey will end.

It’s called aging.

So, what’s my takeaway? At one level, it is a picture of growing gloom and doom. It is no different than doing my dances. I have a choice. I either accept reality or sit back and do nothing while lamenting that life isn’t fair. Nevertheless, there is an alternative. I’d rather live in the moment than pout about life. I’ll try to grasp the brass ring on the merry-go-round of life as I grow older and older.

The brass ring of life

We Are Family

"On Seeing the Light"

Visit the "On Seeing the Light" page to read more about this topic.

Connecting The Dots

Connecting the Dots

Visit the Connecting the Dots page to read more about this topic.

“I’m Alive!”

“I’m Alive!”

Visit the “I’m Alive!” page to read more about this topic.

“Dreaming Dreams”

Dreaming Dreams

Visit the Dreaming Dreams page to read more about this topic.

The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

Visit the "The Last Lecture" page to read more about this topic.

Dancing with Death

Dancing with Death

Visit the Dancing with Death page to read more about this topic.



Visit the "Thus Spoke Ginge" page to read more about this topic.

An old man and his grandson

The Mentors and Me

Visit The Mentors and Me page to read more about this topic.