I began getting the AARP magazine a few years back. You know what that means; I am, as they say, “Of an age...” The first years were harder, I began to think of all the things I would never do. I would never be a trapeze artist. I would never run a marathon (I don’t think). I would never have lovely hands, even though I now had the discipline to take good care of my nails (aren’t they lovely) the arthritis has swollen my knuckles. I am unlikely to see great-grandchildren. I waited until I was thirty-six to have a child. If she waits that long, and her daughter waits that long, I’d have to be 108 - I suppose it is possible. At this point my ability to produce financially is closing in and I realize that I will never own that stone mansion on highway seven, or a cabin on Lake Superior, much less ride the Orient Express.
And yet the possibilities are still limitless, infinite, I have realized. There are things I can’t, won’t, do but the things I could do are endless. I am not likely to visit every lake in Minnesota (have about 9500 of them to go). But I could drive a boat along the whole shoreline of Lake Minnetonka. I am not likely to take a solo trip down the whole length of the Mississippi, but I could canoe for a mile at a number of points along it. Or walk a mile at the beginning and at the end. I am not going to start a gardening business but I could pull a weed in my yard every minute of every day, I think. Or how about get a purple ribbon at the country fair for my roses?
I am never going to be the President of the United Sates of America, but I could send him (or her) a letter on the first of every month, or every Sunday, or every day, or an email every hour – you get the idea. Possibilities are endless.
I will not discover the cure for cancer, but I can work on making the last days of a cancer patient better with support of a family who is going through such a time. Or I may be able to be involved in the on-going work with the local hospital to build up its hospice system. Or I could join a group working to change the Medicare laws for better support of hospice. Or contact my local state representative to find out what kind of legislation he or she is thinking about that might affect these issues. Or I could give a donation to one of the cancer charities or walk in the 5k to raise money and awareness. Or put together a hospice study at church. I could read up on a certain kind of cancer so that I can figure out how I could be helpful.
The point is this, that while my infinity doesn’t include every possibility it does include an endless number of possibilities? So if you’re now of AARP age, or any age – know that the possibilities we still have are endless, we just have to imagine things in a new way.