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Old 09-20-2014, 01:27 AM   #21
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The more important question is how much more than half way done are you?
Hard to say.

When I was born, my dad went to tell his granddad about it, found him shoveling shyte out of the barn. GGD was celebrating his 100th birthday that day (I'd have found a better method).

When my grandad was my age, he stated a new life on a farm in west Canada, lasted 15 years B4 "re".

When my dad was my age, he'd been dead for 10 years.

YMMV
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:18 AM   #22
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A strong motivator for my early retirement. And not all of "living" years are necessarily good years.
+1
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:21 AM   #23
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Mortality is certainly something that occupies my thoughts. However, it's deterioration of life quality that is more concerning. If I could choose between typical old age deterioration and a quick stroke or heart attack, I'd check the latter box.

One thing has improved for DW and I, especially her. We cared for her mother in our home for 8 years until the hospitalizing falls sent her to assisted living (not her idea for sure). Her presence was a continual reminder of what life can become for us (she's 89, we're 63). We work at maintaining good health, exercise, etc yet her falling, walker, 10 meds, etc etc just was a walking billboard of "this is what's in store for YOU!" It;s wonderful to not have that reminder here and the constant need to provide care. After 8 years and little gratitude for it, there's no guilt at all. We have our own lives to enjoy, or at least the years left we can.

I've tired to read and practice the "live in the moment" thing as much as possible. It's not easy for a constant worrier, but to work on just relaxing and enjoying all the many little pleasures can ease the anxieties.
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:59 AM   #24
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This may sound ridiculous as I am "only 34", but I am having this sense recently.

It is a good effect on me though I believe. I am less willing for example to stick around with people who don't affect me in a good way.

I also tend to think *very* long term, so a bit of counterbalance is actually nice. And I appreciate every good moment more as it happens.
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:33 AM   #25
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My sense of mortality increased when I'm reading the paper and obits of people near my age became common.
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:34 AM   #26
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I was 40 when I first had the thought that "My life is half over and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up."

It was not that I was unsatisfied with my life (and that was a (is the?) problem in retrospect) but that I suddenly realized that time was running out on my doing something important. I still hadn't figured out how to do what other's had done -- Jesus, Albert Einstein, Mother Theresa, Winston Churchill, etc.

Now, thirty years later, I am that same person. This is Saturday and just a couple hours ago I was "lazying" on the couch watching the Sunday Afternoon football game. Where did those seven days go?

I still don't know "what I want to be when I grow up." Thanks for pointing out that I have a "long way to go and a short time to get there." How depressing. Who started this silly thread anyway?
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Old 09-20-2014, 09:48 AM   #27
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In the last two years or so, several of our friends and coworkers have died suddenly from heart attacks, an asthma attack, vehicle accidents and so forth. That has bothered us quite a bit. It's one thing to have an illness and die in your 70's or 80's, but it's a whole different thing to be going about your business one day and suddenly die with no warning in your 50's or 60's. Lately, I've been thinking that every day that I am active and happy is a gift that so many don't get.


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Old 09-20-2014, 10:22 AM   #28
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The finite nature of life is why it's so important to spend ALL of your life in enjoyable ways. Spending decades at a "job" you hate and where your biggest enjoyment in life is bitching about your job is a truly pathetic situation.

A successful run, IMHO, is not just FIREing. It's living an entire life without any significant time ever spent wishing you were doing something else.

Money is cheap. Time is expensive.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:24 AM   #29
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This whole idea has crept up on me lately. I've had a rough summer health-wise --lots of stuff I won't go into, but very frustrating-- and finally decided "I want another 25 years!!" (taking me to 87)

Recently, I started viewing my ailments as a blessing as it gave me the slap upside the head to start eating healthy(er), acupuncture, cutting back on alcohol, loosing weight and generally taking better care of myself.

Feeling great over the past many weeks now and feel like I'm heading on the upside.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:24 AM   #30
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In our CCRC, we have a man who is 92, and has been blind since age 16. He became a professor of philosophy and the chair of the department in an Eastern University. He is one of the happiest, most enjoyable and engaging persons that I have ever met. Dying at age 75 would have been a tragedy.

As I and my DW get nearer to the four score age milestone, we do spend a little time discussing and thinking about mortality. So far, we have not phased into the "I'd rather be dead" mode.

Both of us have been near to the edge of 'not being here' but never considered how being dead would be better than being here. Possibly with unmitigated, unbearable pain... but we hope to never find out.

So, life becomes a matter of adjusting, and being wise enough to understand that change is inevitable. "Old Age" is not a number, and though younger people think in terms of physical fitness... I don't think this is necessarily the case. Good to be physically fit, but of all out current similar age acquaintances, less than 20% could be considered "physically fit". Mobile yes, but minimal exercises compared to younger people with a exercise regimen. Perhaps few hours of Tai Chi, or a circle or two around the mall. That said, most are well able to join in games of cards, going to plays, gambling at the "boat", or visiting with relatives. Shopping for food and clothing etc, quite common and most still drive.

Arthritis, changing vision, numerous ache and pains, impaired hearing, increased napping, sleep interruptions and regular doctor visits are so common as to not even be part of the conversation. Accepting any of these frailties is pretty easy, when compared to the peace and freedom from family worries and money anxieties. Life is what we want it to be.

It's the personal attitude that makes the difference. Our glass is much more than half full. We don't make a big deal out of living to 80, or 90. We come to grips with death among our friends and relatives, but don't count these as benchmarks for ourselves.

Being alive is wonderful... much more to see and do, but when the time comes for it to end, no regrets.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:41 AM   #31
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My sense of mortality hit when I lost both of my parents in a 2 year span. They lived a very full and joyful life. That was a couple years ago and I have never been the same. I accepted the passing of the torch from my father to me as a husband and father. In his last days, my father, said to take care of my health and everything else will be fine. He said that he had a great life and challenged me to have an even better one. I accepted that many of my best attributes (looks, sense of humor, etc) came from my mother. My mother had dementia but she always smiled when I walked into the room and that's all we needed together.

What I struggle with is what others have previously said, through their passing I had finally realized I was not going to live forever and in fact have less time in front of me then behind me. However, maybe their passing is the natural wake up call for me to not wish my life away but finish strong. As my user name says, it's all about Balance. Learning from the past, Planning for the future, but living in the present. It's the Journey not the destination that counts
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:01 AM   #32
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The finite nature of life is why it's so important to spend ALL of your life in enjoyable ways. Spending decades at a "job" you hate and where your biggest enjoyment in life is bitching about your job is a truly pathetic situation.

A successful run, IMHO, is not just FIREing. It's living an entire life without any significant time ever spent wishing you were doing something else.

.

You are SO RIGHT about that. Thank you for reminding me. To me, my sense of mortality makes me want to make my actions somehow more meaningful when I am at wo*k. I haven't found a way to do so with my projects and such but more to do with how I work and interact with people.


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Old 09-20-2014, 11:14 AM   #33
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My sense of mortality hit when I lost both of my parents in a 2 year span. They lived a very full and joyful life. That was a couple years ago and I have never been the same. I accepted the passing of the torch from my father to me as a husband and father. In his last days, my father, said to take care of my health and everything else will be fine. He said that he had a great life and challenged me to have an even better one. I accepted that many of my best attributes (looks, sense of humor, etc) came from my mother. My mother had dementia but she always smiled when I walked into the room and that's all we needed together.

What I struggle with is what others have previously said, through their passing I had finally realized I was not going to live forever and in fact have less time in front of me then behind me. However, maybe their passing is the natural wake up call for me to not wish my life away but finish strong. As my user name says, it's all about Balance. Learning from the past, Planning for the future, but living in the present. It's the Journey not the destination that counts
Reminds me of a line from LA Law; don't recall the actor but it was the bald guy who's been on many shows. Line went something like "Our parents are our last buffer to our mortality" or something like that. My mother went first, really shook my senses. Not so much my father for some reason, having been through it.

Imoldernu....good philosophy there.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:36 PM   #34
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I'm glad to see this thread. Acknowledging our mortality is essential to making the most of life.

The media love to emphasize how lifespans are getting longer. I think that's left many with the impression that we're going to make past 100 (looking great and in good health), although that's far from the truth.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the average life expectancy in 2011 was 76 for men and 81 for women in the U.S. But, of course, you can't live by averages...
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:44 PM   #35
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This may sound ridiculous as I am "only 34", but I am having this sense recently.

It is a good effect on me though I believe. I am less willing for example to stick around with people who don't affect me in a good way.

I also tend to think *very* long term, so a bit of counterbalance is actually nice. And I appreciate every good moment more as it happens.

Don't feel bad, Totoro, 34 is old to have mortality thoughts compared to me. I went through it for some odd reason in my teenage years giving it way too much thought then. The good thing is I am now completely over it. I know I am going to die and accept it, and unless the process drags out, it is irrelevant as you will not be able to ponder your death and it's regrets when you are gone anyway. I am glad I am past the point of thinking about mortality as it can be a dreadful thought process.


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Old 09-20-2014, 12:46 PM   #36
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Echoing others, there are friends & co-workers younger than me who have already died. I remember my paternal grandfather retired, and died around a year later. I retired as soon as I was eligible, and have another younger than me friend / co-worker whose health has deteriorated such that he is leaving on a disability retirement.


I acknowledge that retirement, as we've come to view it (at least in the US) is a relatively modern creation, that a little over a century ago perhaps the best one could probably hope for would be to have the adult children take over the "heavy lifting" and as a grandparent just do what one physically could… or work until you died.


While my retirement is not exciting, it has probably been good for my health. Those who knew me on the job frequently comment on how un-stressed I appear, comment on my weight loss, etc.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:58 PM   #37
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Definitely. Then, I can start feeling guilty...why am I still here and how can I waste the time that I do? The awareness of mortality causes me to think too much.

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Old 09-20-2014, 01:02 PM   #38
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Echoing others, there are friends & co-workers younger than me who have already died. I remember my paternal grandfather retired, and died around a year later. I retired as soon as I was eligible, and have another younger than me friend / co-worker whose health has deteriorated such that he is leaving on a disability retirement.


I acknowledge that retirement, as we've come to view it (at least in the US) is a relatively modern creation, that a little over a century ago perhaps the best one could probably hope for would be to have the adult children take over the "heavy lifting" and as a grandparent just do what one physically could… or work until you died.


While my retirement is not exciting, it has probably been good for my health. Those who knew me on the job frequently comment on how un-stressed I appear, comment on my weight loss, etc.

Don't feel bad Unno for a retirement that is "not exciting". I had enough excitement in my 20s and 30s to last a lifetime. That is not a high priority for me anymore. Now waking up a walking to driveway to retrieve morning newspaper with coffee...That is exciting to me!


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Old 09-20-2014, 01:26 PM   #39
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Old 09-20-2014, 04:15 PM   #40
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The clock definitely started ticking a little louder for me once I crossed the age 50 barrier.
I am counting on vigorous exercise, good diet, and 'keeping it interesting' to get me 'up there somewhere' with the least amount of decrepitude. If I should need to initiate the get out now plan, I hope I will be able to do as well as 85 year old Gillian Bennett who checked out last month with the support of her entire family. Documented here -

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