“Last week I read The Art of Aging: A Doctor’s Prescription for Well-Being by Sherwin Nuland, a Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Yale School of Medicine. There’s a very thin line, observes Nuland, between denial and despair, between pretending nothing has changed and doing nothing at all. And a big difference between living long and living well. Beyond the standard advice about diet, exercise, genetics, intellectual stimulation, and social connections, Nuland explores the intangibles of our attitudes, dispositions, and religious faith. It’s not just about eating granola, he says. Cultivating equanimity over entitlement, contentment over complaining, or determination over discouragement, are only three examples of the attitudes we can choose about aging. Aging brings both gains and losses. Cultivating the wisdom to separate fact and fantasy is huge, as is learning to live with uncertainty and adversity. One of the biggest lessons of aging, says Nuland, is that ‘choice exists for each of us.’ Aging is not a disease, it’s a natural condition of every life. And if it’s handled wisely, there really is more sugar at the bottom of the cup. …In 2 Corinthians 4 and 5, Paul mentions the ‘body’ seven times. He uses unflattering metaphors to describe the body – it’s like a flimsy tent, a clay jar, a ‘nakedness’ when we are exposed as ‘unclothed.’ Life ‘in the body,’ says Paul, is a time of ‘troubles’ when we are ‘away from the Lord.’ Paul is brutally realistic about life ‘in the body.’ He yanks us out of fantasy and into reality, from denial into candor. He would move us from despair to wisdom in order to live well today. But make no mistake, for Paul, life ‘in the body’ is hard. Growing old isn’t for sissies. While ‘in the body,’ we are ‘hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.'” Dan Clendenin
“We always carry around in our body
the death of Jesus.”
2 Corinthians 4:10
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- As you age, how are you doing when it comes to “equanimity over entitlement, contentment over complaining, … determination over discouragement?”
- …when it comes to learning to live with limits? … “with uncertainty and adversity?”
- Are you discovering “sugar at the bottom of the cup?”
Abba, help me age like a fine wine.
For More: The Art of Aging by Sherwin Nuland
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”
Thanks for this, Bill. As an aging baby-boomer, I’m really drawn to this piece. Definitely a keeper and one I’ll revisit periodically.
Thanks Linda. I’m in the same situation.
Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after going through a
few of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless,
I’m definitely pleased I discovered it and I’ll be
bookmarking it and checking back frequently!
Thanks for your interest and support Ernesto. I’m glad to know you’re finding the blog useful.