My dog is 10 ½ years old now and using the old conversion factor is about 74 human years or 27 years my senior. How she puts up with me I don’t know. Her sustained zest for life is my guidepost as the aging process beckons to me once again with an all too familiar pain in my right foot. As I hobble around the house her eyes make me vow:
When I’m 74 years old, I will wake up each morning with an attitude that says, “more please”. I will lift my body from the sheets, display a few downward facing dog yoga poses to alert my joints and muscles that the day has begun and shake my body with a vigor that leaves my checks nicely smoothed out from the creases left by pillow. I will venture forward to void yesterday and make room for today’s surprises. I will tease my friends to let them now that they are appreciated and come rain or shine I will survey my surroundings for change. I will obey the rules that say waiting my turn may require patience.
I will dress without complaint to accommodate the weather, even if an extra layer is more for looks than for function. I will patiently stay put when requested and relax when released. I will be the first to volunteer for new adventures and persistently make my presence known when not acknowledged for my feats.
I will be a loyal friend, unbiased listener, and a shoulder to cry on; always available at a minutes notice.
I will hesitate when intuition requires more information and give all I have when I know what is required of me.
I will commit my presence in times of sorrow and dance in times of joy.
I will frolic and play unlimited by my body’s moments of discomfort because life is the game and living each moment to it’s fullest is like breathing fresh air – easy, without thought, and with effortless peace.
I will sleep without awareness of time or place and I will age with dignity and wisdom, sharing all that I have with patience for the young and awareness for all.
My dog has taught me many things, but the most important wisdom is that the only thing that attitude has in common with aging is the letter A.