Thursday, October 16, 2014
All Life is Precarious
I have an old friend who insists we are old, and that I ought to act my age. It is time she claims to move to a retirement home in Florida and begin to die. I say Florida just makes you want to die. "Your life is precarious," she said to me over coffee yesterday. "You need to take it easier. You are too old to go hiking by yourself, or camping in remote areas, or climb ladders."
My mother, a firm believer in taking it easier, died at 67. And her older brother mowed lawns with a push mower until 87. But all life is precarious as the recent Ebola epidemic here in the states is proving. And if it was not a pandemic it could be volcanic eruption. There have been swarms of earthquakes around Mammoth Mountain just up wind from us. I married and divorced a man eight years younger than me. He died three years ago. We do not come with expiration dates though nobody has avoided the final exit yet.
I see no advantage to living each day so that I do not hurt myself. In fact, I can see a lot of advantages to living life at full tilt. I may be past the live hard, die young and leave a beautiful corpse but I will not regret having not done something. And I do not pay a lot for exercise classes. I have two cords of firewood to stack between packing for my four day photography trek. My friend is driving to Taos to take a senior yoga class. I probably do not get things done as fast as I did in my youth but they get done. And I feel very empowered by the things I do.
This morning I took both my dogs on a pet sitting job. They think it is their job too. Mardi Gras is 15 and at times I think it would be easier to leave her home. But I would hate myself if she was not given this opportunity to ride in the car, run the fields (yes, she still runs) and bond with her pack buddy who is just 11. If she drops dead in mid dash across the pasture I will feel I have done my best for her. My friends and family should feel the same way if I collapse hauling in firewood.