Broken Promises—A Revamp Of Life Plans…

Fingers of aging
Sidle up on all of us
Bone by bone,
Wrinkle by wrinkle,
Ache by ache
While we are busy
Making other plans—
Working, working out,
Applauding our children’s
Accomplishments as well as
Developing our own personal goals,
Enjoying food and drink,
A ripening of perspective, hopefully,
And also inevitably, of body.

Along the way, I’ve seen
Many facets and methods people employ
To age with varying degrees
Of beauty and grace.
There’s no telling, health-wise,
What fortune awaits any of us.

Even so,
Part of getting through this all
Is how we deal with declining
Physical and mental capabilities.

Some people’s maturity unfolds
Like a hand painted paper fan,
Slowly revealing wonder and
A quiet splendor to others
As they maintain active engagement
In their community events, culture
And their own hobbies.

Even while illness
Wracks their internal organs
Leaving them impaired, feeling poorly
And experiencing pain,
They are able to uphold inspiring,
Almost ridiculous optimism
And interest in life.

Some of these folks turn out to be
Role models you very much admire, and
Want to emulate as you age.
These are the people you
End up missing the most
When they leave this world.

Others may have lived
Healthfully and have had a life
Filled with success and lavishness
But somehow still manage to
Dry up into sour, frowning prunes
Who become even more rigid
Within their small Grinch hearts
As they complain that no one
Wants to visit them,
Blame others for their troubles
And proceed in sickness and in
Amazing physical health
Without an ounce of gratitude and
Self reflection or evolution.

You may be obligated to and
Truly do love some of these folks
The most, but find that
The reality of their thorny presence
And negative proclivities can be
A serious emotional drag downwards
Making you feel guilty in your desire
To get away from them
As fast as possible but
More importantly, make you aware of
The drawbacks of continuing to
Practice key, less constructive
Habits in ways of being
That you yourself
Also tend to espouse.

Others, still, appear to
Take their mortality “hard”
Because of their own high
Expectations for themselves to
Look and feel forever young.

Even though so blessed with a
Leisurely existence filled with
Ample time and money for
Extensive travel,
A life free of any dicey
Professional politics and angling,
They falter.

There is a crumpling,
A flailing about due to
An insistence to stay afloat
Within the exact same mode of
Active lifestyle they once had
When that may no longer be possible—
Disappointment that is
Painful to observe
Impossible for someone else
To curtail.

They cling to the idea that their
Bodies must stay the same
Though they are weaker, less virile
And losing passion as they grow
Increasingly fragile and prone to
Body injury, fatigue and to
Catching and keeping colds and
Infections that persist for months.

Disheartened and focusing on
What’s broken,
They emotionally curl up into
A fetal position
To almost start dying…(?)
Instead of still (gingerly)
Grabbing life by the horns
In a modified, more age
And health accommodating fashion.

I admit.
I understand these choices the least
And have resolve to live out
Aging and even sickness
Differently, if I’m so lucky.

Easy for me to say I realize—
Caught up in spellbinding
Physical twists to sport excellent,
Robust physiology to be in
The best shape of my life
(As far as I currently know—a
Status that could instantly change
With an upcoming test result)

Though not part of my own upbringing,
I feel gratitude every day
That my body remains ready and
Willing to undertake new challenges.

Stay on consistent physical track
Regardless of your emotional state.
Keep safe, well and
Avoid injury at all costs

Are my mottos
Even if that requires dropping
Expectations down several notches,
Adjusting intensity, speed,
Length or distance—

Make good health happen
As much as I can control.
I will have to figure out
How to make my mottos still hold true
Even if devastation turns out that
I am, in fact, no longer healthy.



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