It is funny to me that as I age two things seem to be happening to me. These two things, racing away from each other in opposite directions, have some kind of connection that is found in the distance they’ve created in between each other:
- My physical body starts to break down and in turn I’m dealing with aches and pains that my body hasn’t felt before.
- My mind grows and expands, and I’m entering a period of your life where I feel sharper and more focused than ever with my thoughts.
I’ve been a pretty lucky person when it comes to physical ailments during my lifetime. I’ve had cuts and scrapes along the way, but nothing major at all save for the time I fell off a ten-speed bicycle while visiting cousins in Virginia when I was 10. I banged up my knee pretty well back then and I think the aches that are prevalent in my left knee during my thirties are a result of that. The lack of physical ailments in my youth have caused me to see that the ones that now hinder my physical movements at certain points of the day are age related. I accept these age related physical ailments, as they are a weird badge of honor that comes with aging. Like generations past, I have now earned the right to make a comment about “my achin’ back” and how hard it is to get up from a kneeling position on the ground.
But the real perk that comes with this badge of honor is in the fact that since the physical ailments of age have slowed me down a bit they’ve created a space in my life that has given me more time to think, to ponder, and to feel. These moments, compiling themselves in seconds that over time have become minutes, hours, and days, have given me a chance to dive further into thoughts about what’s in front of me, what’s behind me, and what everything means when it is all smooshed together. I’ve always enjoyed some alone time with only me and my thoughts, and as I get older these moments are even better than before. Gone are the days where I’d spend my time wondering if i’d “make it” (I’m still alive so yes I think I’ve made it) or that I’d get to where I needed to be (where I am right now is where I need to be). I’m happy I no longer have to use my mental energy on those questions, but I’m glad I got to experience having those thoughts and working through them.
My sharpened mind turns towards the idea that we are constantly building the world around us. The physical version of the world has set boundaries and limitations. Human beings bring something else to the table. Our always racing minds are actually changing the world around us. Our thoughts, ideas, and actions are building a new layer onto the physical world. Over the past 200 or so years, the industrial revolution and now the information revolution we are currently living through have tossed and turned the world. Every day we give birth, destroy, and rebuild the world around us with our thoughts.
I think about how every single action that any of us takes has an impact on something in the world. We are all together in building this world. It may seem like the actions of some folks have a greater impact on the world around us than others, but I like to think that there are levels to this. Some people will have an impact on that moment, and over time that impact fades. Why? Because their impact was not pure. Their actions came with stipulations that were greedy and thoughtless. They made their move, had a brief moment in the spotlight, and then over time the truth behind their action was revealed. I do not believe this is the path forward. I see the path forward as one where actions are pure and the only stipulations that they come with are ones that are positive and for the greater good of our world.