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What is even the point.
ddr_ho
Okay, warning. I've reverted to teenager emo blogging mode for this one. (I know, nothing has really changed.)

Aging. It's just so impossible for me to face this gracefully. Because it's not about weight or wrinkles or superficial things, which are all the things I've always associated with "aging gracefully," and things I (mostly) don't care about.

Aging is about constantly facing death. More people you love die. More people your friends love die. And I'm not as okay with mortality as I once thought I was. (When I was young.)

Aging is, maybe worse, making me feel that life is quite pointless. Visiting a nursing home once a week is not helping this at all, of course. It's so depressing. It's a decent one, not high class by any means, but decent. And on paper, it's lovely. You know, three meals a day, scheduled activities throughout the week. It almost sounds like a cruise.

But there are just so many people who simply exist. Nothing to do, nowhere to go. (Which is one of the phrases I use when I lead meditations, and it feels so calming in a busy life, so this is even more strangely upsetting.) They are in their rooms, or in wheelchairs in the halls, watching TV or just sitting. One guy strums the guitar sometimes, but I've never really heard him play a song. This makes me so sad.

what does it feel like, to have no future to plan for, nothing to look forward to besides lunch or afternoon bingo?

I feel like I'm seeing so much general futility in existence. That we all end up here, then dead, and we're lucky if this is as bad as it gets on the way.

I can't picture a happy old age for myself. For a while, I daydreamed about writing in the morning, the occasional lunch with friends, teaching senior yoga in the afternoons.

But now? I don't know. Writing a book is a daydream, but not a dream anymore. I love the idea of writing a book, but I don't enjoy the process of writing to finish a project, no matter how modest I make the goal. I don't spend a lot of time with friend on my days off now. Why would I do better then? And teaching yoga has certainly lost its gleam, but at least it would be a useful occupation.

I don't really have any dreams now. I don't know what life will be like in twenty years. I don't much like being middle-aged, though it's better than I imagined in some ways. (Worse in others. I never really thought I'd be alone, but now I'm pretty sure I'll always be alone.)

I already feel so old. I'm so tired all the time. So much of my life revolves around managing RA, medications, early bedtimes... I just don't care about much of anything.

There are things I look forward to (the Yogaville workshop in July; seeing Hamilton in October), but I don't really have dreams for myself, what I want to do with my life. I really miss that sense of working toward something that mattered. I don't feel like much of what I do now really matters.

Life just feels, again, utterly pointless.

*sigh* I do realize this post reeks of depression. I am probably at least mildly depressed. But I don't really know what else I can do about that, either.

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This is something I face, and yes, I'm a bit younger than you, but the question of "What in the future?" is sadly one I don't think gets easily resolved, and it's conversely very easy to find oneself stuck in old and/or outgrown habits/patterns that make that question seem more prominent and even more urgent.

For instance, being in the pattern of not liking work and/or some particular life routine can lead to the question "What am I even doing?" and it gets stuck in the gears even when the job and routine get to be nice. Believe me-- I've seen this in myself, because I used to ask this all the time when I was going to jobs I didn't like as much and now that I have a good job that I like and a job routine that feels good, I still find myself asking the question only to have to talk myself into realizing that it isn't a bad place to be, so the question isn't as important. But it's still there because it's a ghost particle of something that used to be more important, at least at points.

That said, I think there's also the fact that humans are just driven to ask this, especially when we get disconnected from community and driven indoors more and more. This isn't a rant against modern technology (obviously, since that's my whole career) but more that we're employing that technology to solve the question on automation rather than give it up to the answers we've already got. "We don't know, and that's not the worst thing."

And beyond that, to add one more little tidbit, the depression stuff definitely can have a significant influence on the question being more prominent.

*nods* It is true there are old patterns I am recreating here. I spent a lot of my adulthood thinking the biggest thing wrong with my life was that I didn't have a decent career and wasn't making enough money. So when I had a decent career and enough money, it was a bit disconcerting to find I was still miserable.

I spent so much time with the next thing being what kept me going, it's hard to let go of that idea of a "next thing." And you're right, a lot of it is human nature. Plus our society is very object oriented. We're taught that our purpose is in what we do, what we have, what we contribute to society, and what activities and objects we purchase to distract ourselves from our imperfect being. (And yeah, technology is quickening that pace of attainment and distraction.)

There are cultures that are much more "being" oriented, and I am not idealizing those cultures, but it would probably be nice to find a balance. That there is value in existence and connection.

I've tried to incorporate some of that "being" and "doing" difference into my life, specifically through work. I've spent much of my life taking on my job identity as my sole identity, which is a terrible thing to do. And that was a doing element which definitely negatively fed back into everything else. I couldn't "be" something unless I was "doing" something.

I really start to swoon when I hear about people who live in places where they spend time outdoors, grow their own food, make their own stuff, and don't fall into the specific wealth or identity building roles... and I'm with you, it's not that cultures allowing that are entirely ideal but there are elements of those lifestyles that I, too, would like to see incorporated into urban American living.

It took me forever to get back to your post because I tried to access it from the messages inside LJ, found I couldn't, and then had to dig through my e-mail, which was really annoying on mobile, so now that I finally have a laptop open, I'm getting back to it.

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