My daughter walks in as I am placing my just-washed lettuce into a zippered plastic bag.
“Is that how you refrigerate your lettuce?”
“Mum! Aren’t you afraid of all the PCBs and other chemicals that go into making this bag?”
“Seriously? I’m 77 years old! If I can’t be Fearless at this age, when will I be? It’s one of the advantages of old age!”
That’s the truth, even though my daughter moaned and groaned! And lest anyone infer that I am being very cavalier about life, disease and death, I am certainly not! However, I can either choose to live the few remaining years of my life Fearlessly, or I can freak out at every new wrinkle, blemish, mole, white hair, ache, pain, or discomfort, as well as using a plastic bag to store my veggies, or imbibing my coffee, wine and so on! That would be the ultimate ridiculousness at this stage!
In that same vein and while visiting with a same-aged friend as myself last year we went out on her porch so that I can smoke. She says:
“I love the smell of cigarettes!”
“You’ve never smoked?”
“Never! I have always wanted to, though!”
“Here. Have one of mine!”
“What are you worried about at this age? Que Sera Sera!”
We were both laughing as we continued smoking and chatting. Advocating smoking is not what I am doing here. Not at all. However, and at this ripe old age, and with the abundance of disasters that are going on around us, smoking a cigarette seems to be so inconsequential!
Then there was my same-aged friend who was visiting for a few days. As we were halfway through having lunch at a restaurant she said:
“Oh! Oh! I forgot to take my blood pressure medication this morning! We need to go back home immediately!”
“Relax! Let’s finish our lunch. Nothing will happen if you skip a day.”
“What are you saying? I could have a stroke, or a heart attack!!”
“If you do, it won’t be for skipping one pill. Trust me!”
Is this, I thought later, what has become of us? That there is always something scaring the living daylights out of us? That everything has become threatening, terrifying? Let’s be Fearless about all the harmless – harmless! – stuff, especially those of us over a certain age! Should we be able to differentiate when it is appropriate to be Fearful, or when we should be Fearless? Or, should we constantly be on edge, which takes “Living” out of the equation and replaces it with “Existing.” That is pretty dismal!?
However, The Virus? That is Fearful stuff, especially that we have a President, and his supporters, who have turned a deadly disease into a partisan weapon with which Democrats and Republicans are nauseatingly jousting while thousands die, and many more thousands are becoming infected! We are living in a country where some have totally lost any sense of responsibility, or communal living! And that a Vaccine is already being politicized? How depraved is that? Yes, The Virus and the disgusting behavior of our President, his Administration, our Politicians and some Americans who are refusing to abide by common sense boundaries in order to level the horrifying numbers in our hospitals is truly terrifying!
I often wonder, what fearful nightmare is it that we are living in? The more vital question, though, is why are all of Trump’s Republican supporters complicit sycophants? Are there no more Proud Americans in this country be they on the Right, the Left, or in the Middle? How do we begin fixing our broken nation and our broken Planet as long as our leadership remains in the pathetically sorry state it is in and we have to be Fearful for the whole world? The menu options on what is broken, and on how to fix them is too long, and, therefore, this is when I thought I had better stop here today, otherwise it will become too complicated and quite depressing actually, and I will not be able to keep my head above the swirling waters around me that might pull me under. That’s what we all need to do at the moment, because we simply cannot fix it on our own.
At the end of the day, living Fearlessly at the appropriate Time, Place, Age and Situation is an absolute requirement that I ruefully wish I had done more of in my younger and ignorant days. Unfortunately, and as long as this Virus stays with us, and when the most thrilling thing to do outside our homes is to take a walk in the neighborhood, or a quick trip to the grocery store, keeping our own sanity and maintaining our self-preservation is the best we can all do.
Stay Strong! Stay engaged!
And do Stay Safe and Well!