I am a member of the blogger kitchen cabinet for AARP’s Decide.Create.Share. - an initiative on long-term planning.
Birthdays bring on a certain thoughtfulness for me and I just had one. They remind me to enjoy my life, to use my imagination to make that possible, and to do this in the most authentic way. Birthdays are also a reminder that thinking is not enough. The unpleasant things I put off doing still need to be completed.
I read a post I wrote a year ago that was prompted by someone else's post on parent healthcare and the medical profession's obsession with longevity. The NY Magazine article was titled "A Life Worth Ending" and it sucked me in because I am very interested in longevity.
Reading it however made me feel sad. Once again I had to acknowledge I have decisions to make. Believe me, I have recurring yet fleeting thoughts about how I want to be taken care of at the point at which I can no longer take care of myself. As recently as two weeks ago a nerve in my upper back made me think I was having a heart attack and the old " you need to get your house in order" thought poked its head in again. Although I might not need to decide right now exactly when AND how to pull the plug, I should handle my personal business now when there is no problem rather than if or when a problem arises.
This is not the kind of conversation one has with friends unless perhaps they are virtual. The truth is, most people do not want to be reminded of an 'end.' Many of us have no one to call to help us process how we feel. If my mother were alive, this is just the kind of conversation I would have with her. She would say something wise to help me cope and help me not be afraid.
But knowing that there are others in this boat with me does not make me feel better. The good news however is that AARP launched an initiative, Decide, Create, Share. that will help me through this process. I have agreed to execute a plan “ to take charge of my future by completing the Living Longer, Living Smarter Plan. I can complete this 40 days from the time I signed the pledge then share it with my love ones. I feel less scared.
Please join me and take the pledge here.
I am a member of AARP’s Decide.Create.Share. kitchen cabinet on long-term planning. All opinions are my own.
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