If your curious and so far you seem to be, you may be thinking what the hell do Greg Maddux, Seneca ,and Robert Browning have to do with the "Golden Years"? Well in the mind of a baseball nut (it's true I confess) they have wisdom to pass on, they make perfect sense to me at least.
A few weeks ago my oldest and dearest friend Jack Thulis sent me an email whose title was the "Back Nine". We made several attempts to identify the source of his/hers brilliant take on aging.It was written by a person who knew more than a thing or two about those dreaded so called Golden Years.
However like most things in life many others have different views and lots of add on's. The first thing I have to admit is I personally would not have labeled those senior years the Back Nine.Simply because I'm not a golfer. My title would have been "TheLate Innings". Try to imagine you are Greg Maddux, it's the seventh inning and you once were the greatest control pitcher in the history of baseball. All of a sudden you realize that that great control is not there for you anymore.Your great "stuff" is suddenly missing. The relievers are used up. Suddenly you are facing the big thumpers anxiously awaiting your next pitch. The entire opposing lineup seems like the 1927 Yankees, who were called "murders row". But instead of Babe Ruth,Lou Gehrig and the rest of "murders Row"you are up against a far more formidable line up.
Suddenly you discover your once crack memory is starting to slip, fatigue sets in much earlier than usual, aches and pains appear in places they never existed before. Suddenly everyone around you seems to be whispering. In order to find your much needed glasses you find it necessary to keep at least six cheaters one in every room. You discover that you entered a stage in life where you knew more dead people than alive.You start to remember back in the day when you often contemplated the meaning of life. Those thoughts have been replaced by thoughts of the meaning of death.
Our unknown Author states that we all have regrets. There are things we wished we did. There are also things we wished we hadn't done, but indeed always remember the things you did do. It's all in a lifetime.
So to those of you who have yet to reach those "late innings",remember the great Maddux, suddenly they will be here faster than you think. So take a hard look at the things you would like to accomplish in the years you have left and do it quickly. Remember the wise words of Seneca "It is not that we have so little time, but that we lose so much. The life that we receive is not short but we make it so. We are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.Today is the oldest you've ever been, yet the youngest you'll ever be" . So enjoy the the day while it lasts. Do not regret growing old .It was a privilege denied to many.
Robert Browning's "Rabbi Ben Ezra" poem left us who grow old with a lasting gift, one that I will cherish for a lifetime. "Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be. The last of life for which the first was made. Our times are in his hands. Who saith a whole I planned. Youth shows but half, trust God, see all, nor be afraid" . Life is indeed a gift, live it well enjoy today.
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