Have We Learned Anything Yet?

By Georgie Bright Kunkel

Of course I pay attention to my present condition and to my state of mind. How can I not pay attention sitting here with my leg in a cast, elevated on my office shelf. When one’s physical condition is hampered for a time it is difficult to remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And I don’t mean the light that leads to joining dead relatives and friends in the hereafter. I mean it is helpful when suffering a downturn to remember that times will get better.

Some years ago when I was looking after my older brother, the doctor warned him that he had only three months to live. After several months he called the doctor and cussed him out, literally. “Here I have been preparing to die and I am still around. You really shouldn’t scare people like that.” Well, as luck would have it, my brother lived for many more months.

With this in mind it is best to live each day fully. I have found that I have a better day if the night before I have thought about all the things I want to accomplish when I get up the next morning. It really makes my day worth getting up for. I try not to think too much about aging and dying even though my address book is full of crossed out names. So the game is to start each day with a plan. Try to say something nice to someone each day. Refrain from gossip and harsh criticism. And avoid people who give out negative vibes. Life is too short to suffer people who irritate.

If young people seem frivolous, remember your own youth. Try to find a humorous response to anxiety and pain. A friend once saw a low cut dress in a store window and complained, “This is for a woman with fuller breasts than I have.” I suggested that she take out her shoulder pads and put them into her bra. When a young woman in the shower room with me was complaining about having to shave her legs I said, “Would you rather shave your chin like I do?” It is all relative. Just when we get wiser we also get older and weaker. It is nature’s way of equalizing the generations. We can ask younger people to lift things and they can ask us for advice.

No matter how many makeovers we might choose to have, it probably won’t prevent our dying someday. Can’t you just imagine the people standing over your casket after you’ve had a lifetime of facelifts and saying, “She looks too young to die.” The grim reaper doesn’t care how many years you have been able to fool the mirror.

So spend more time enjoying life and stop worrying about wrinkles. Or find a date whose eyes are dimming and who doesn’t notice them. That way he appreciates the inner “you”. Learn to meditate through discomfort. Take deep breaths and keep your heart pumping any way you can. If you know your limits pay attention.

Oh, oh. I just thought of something—if heaven is such a great place why do we abhor dying and going to that wonderful place? My answer is that life is precious and even the promise of heaven doesn’t hold a candle to living one’s life as long as possible. So take care of yourself and stop worrying. Worry cancels out all the things you do to be healthier. The health food stores are filled with sad faced people who are bigtime worriers. And that special bottle of youth replenisher will probably be on the list of things that later will be considered useless. With all that said, go forth and spread your joyful spirit. That’s what life is all about.

Georgie Bright Kunkel is a freelance writer who can be reached at gnkunkel@comcast.net or 206-935-8663.

Remember, join me for a presentation and discussion of the book UNBROKEN and my track star brother Norman Bright at Southwest Library at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19th.
See you there.

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