I’m reading an interesting book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by surgeon, writer and public health researcher Atul Gawande. Only halfway through, already I have stumbled upon a mini revelation I wanted to share.
Gawande writes that through our modernization of medicine, we have succeeded in extending lives but have failed miserably in enabling our elderly to live meaningful, respectful lives. So far, I find the book fascinating, alarming and annoying. I plan to write a post about it once I’m finished.
But the revelation… On page 95, Gawande writes, “If we shift as we age toward appreciating everyday pleasures and relationships rather than toward achieving, having, and getting, and if we find this more fulfilling, then why do we take so long to do it? Why do we wait until we’re old?”
Then, on page 127, he continues, “As our time winds down, we all seek comfort in simple pleasures – companionship, everyday routines, the taste of good food, the warmth of sunlight on our faces. We become less interested in the rewards of achieving and accumulating, and more interested in the rewards of simply being.”
These two passages really hit home for me. In them, Gawande eloquently describes the underlying premise of my blog. When I began, I wrote, Pique is a blog for those of us… who have spent the first half of our lives achieving and acquiring and still want more. Not more stuff… but a deeper understanding of who we are and why we’re here.
So maybe what I am feeling and trying to express is simply the natural, universal response to – even wisdom of — aging?