So I managed to space two weeks running. Lately what passes for my brain has apparently gone into hiding on a tropical island somewhere and is making nice with the fancy drinks with little umbrellas in them and enjoying the scenery. The bitch probably has pool boys included in said scenery, too.
So, my apologies. I did not intend to space out and completely forget to post. Nor did I intend to find myself so brain-dead after work that I’m basically rambling on screen. The assorted joys of my medical issues don’t help, but it’s not like I’m not familiar with them. Then I find out that a friend/acquaintance lost the fight with cancer last week – I’m not sure if she’d made her 40s or not, but she was about that much younger than me. Way the hell too young to be hit by something like that.
It’s something I’m seeing more as I get older: the awareness that I don’t have unlimited time to do things. That sooner or later it all stops. And yet, inside I don’t really feel any older than I did in my twenties. Or thirties. Or forties. I will admit to being thankful the angsty teen years are long gone, though. I could do without a repeat of those – hell, once was more than enough.
Small wonder that ways to live longer or just plain not die show up all over the place in fantasy and science fiction: I don’t think any of us really wants to find out what happens when living stops. Heck, it’s a challenge to find people who are prepared to acknowledge that time changes us. I might feel much the same as I used to on the inside, but I’m well aware that on the outside a lot of things are way different including wobbly balance and a decided caution when descending stairs compared to the way I used to go flying down the things.
I’m not even sure that living longer is necessarily a good thing. Can you imagine an eternity of “Mum, I’m bored“? I can, and it’s not a nice thought. As for dramatically extending old age, well, that’s not particularly enjoyable either. Right now a healthy fifty-year-old might be more or less equivalent to a healthy forty-ish of the 1900s, but usually but that 40-ish person would probably have another 20-25 years, the last five or so with everything falling apart. Today’s 50-something could easily manage another 40 plus years, with everything falling apart on them for the last 20. There are some ways the shorter lifespan is kinder.
Yes, I am terrified of the prospect of being trapped in a failing body for years on end. It’s bad enough keeping the damn thing running now. But who knows? Maybe tomorrow some clever sod will figure out how to extend what seems to be a hard limit in the 110 to 120 years range (there’s definitely a difference between life expectancy and maximum lifespan – the former is the one that can be extended easily by all the things we’ve been doing over the last hundred and some years where the latter is likely to take genetic-level tweaking to change). Or we’ll all get hit by a bus or something.
The point is, there’s no way to tell what’s coming. It’s fun to speculate on it and write stories about what could be or what might have been, but in the end, well, I’ve personally found that when it comes to what might happen in my personal future it’s better not to worry too much about what might happen until it actually manifests.
And if you got something sensible out of that little ramble, you have my sincere congratulations.