Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Life's smaller losses

We take so much for granted, don't we? Physical ability. Mental acuity. Family. Friends. Home. Job. And so much more.

We take things for granted ... until we lose them, that is. Suddenly, our attitudes shift a bit and we realize the delicate and tenuous nature of so much of life. Sometimes we lose something in one swift move. A job is gone. Our house goes underwater financially—or a tornado or hurricane claims it. Loved ones die. And we need to work through a cycle of grief before we can move on to whatever becomes our "new normal."

Other times, we lose something we had counted on a piece at a time. As we age, our physical abilities—and, yes, our mental acuity as well—are part of that gradual decline. We can't carry as much as we used to, we can't stay up as late, we don't have quite the endurance or stamina we once had. We don't remember things as well as we did. It's more difficult to recognize those losses because they're so gradual. Of course, sometimes we see those losses offset by increased wisdom, a feeling of being more comfortable in our own skin, a better perspective on life, etc. But they are still losses and we do well to recognize that—and move on to our "new normal."

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