Annual Medicare Enrollment Period has Arrived
Old Age and Loneliness

A TGB READER STORY: Carole's Debate

By Carole Leskin

"You are old", says the voice in my head.
"You have many years left", says my beating heart.

"You are slowing down - it's to be expected", says the voice in my head.
"You have so much left to see and do", says my beating heart.

"You must prepare for the limitations to come", says the voice in my head.
"You should be open to new opportunities and adventures", says my beating heart.

"You must act your age - let your hair grow gray", says the voice in my head.
"You should do as you please", says my beating heart.

"You must be strong and self-reliant", says the voice in my head.
"You should not hesitate to ask for help when you need it", says my beating heart.

"You must be ever vigilant for it is a dangerous world", says the voice in my head.
"You should welcome and be grateful for the kindness of strangers", says my beating heart.

"You must learn to live with loss", says the voice in my head.
"You should view each day as a new beginning", says my beating heart.

"You must come to terms with the Inevitability Of Death", says the voice in my head.
"You should find Purpose and Joy in Life", says my beating heart.

The debate is intense. When it concludes, who is the winner? My head or my heart?

Can both be right?

* * *

[EDITORIAL NOTE: Reader's stories are welcome. If you have not published here or not recently, please read submission instructions. Only one story per email.]



Comments

I think your head and your heart are very good partners!

Beautiful! Love the way you describe those voices. Definitely truth in both, but I'm just gonna put it out there . . . the "heart voice" is so full of life and potential--go for it? :)

Yes, Carole, they are both right, and you have sagely documented the inner conversations most of us have at this end of life. It appears to me you have a functional balance...and 'balance' is truly needed at every age.

My husband and I were very different in personality, backgrounds and natures; yet it gave "balance" to a marriage that lasted 53 years until he died in 2011. My closest friend from those early years of balancing ourselves, gave me one of the large (popular at the time) wearable buttons. It said "If You Don't Want My Peaches...Don't shake My Tree !" I still have it and must show it to my own fearful brain once in a while.

We must trust and care for ourselves at every age, dear lady, not only in this 7th, 8th, and 9th decade of hangin' around.

Thank you are sharing your interesting inner dialog with TimeGoesBy. Nicely thought provoking .

Lovely, Carole. I think we can live compatibly with most of these alternatives....anticipate the inevitable, plan strategically, yet continue to live fully in the moment and be open to new experiences.

The great debate goes on for us all, those that came before us, and those that come after us. Bottom line, it's nearly lights out but some of us deal with it better than others. It's a stinking situation--a line from "A Walk In The Sun" as the soldiers were about to climb over the wall and charge the German occupied farmhouse bristling with machine guns a hundred yards or two beyond. But, we must accentuate the positive because there is no other choice and we may as well make the best of it--so give the beating heart a listen and be joyful for the chance to have lived as well as the time left to live--this life more than likely has more meaning than we are capable of realizing and I refuse to go insane worrying bout my inevitable demise. Go over that wall!!

As a side note, I am happier in my retirement and old age--soon to be 72--than ever in my life. The gauntlet of life's huge ups and downs and a twisted road led me to this place in time with everything I had striven for and dreamt of--it all fell into place. It's great when one realizes that they have reached their destiny. So very mysterious.

John

Thank you, Carole, for helping me identify the parties to my own debate. The head seems to yell while the heart seems to whisper.

At nearing-83, it's not so much of a debate anymore; the head comes out on top (its natural physical location) more often, but not always. It is what it is.

Hi, I guess this proves guys are different from gals.
I have never had too many internal debates.
But, I have never been diagnosed with a deadly disease, either.
A week shy of 95, and I love blogging the good, the bad and the indifferent.
The current administration does make my heart beat a bit faster, or it's my imagination.
Stay happy and keep blogging.
Emiel aka Emiliano aka ole guy

Carole, your debate is mine....the conversation that runs alongside of me as I plug along through my days. Thank you!

Thank you Carole. Lovely. May you live long and happy.

Yes. For me, it's about which one I choose to lead with, but one is connected to the other most times.

Thank you. Good read....

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