|What would you say to your 80 year old self about all the things you've witnessed in life? Would you discuss what you've missed out and regretted or would you congratulate yourself on all the things you've accomplished?
We've had some excellent prompts in October, but I never took time to respond. So maybe I'll pick a few good ones now.
Age 80 is getting closer every day. I hope I survive that long! I want to believe that I will have forgiven myself for all my bad choices. I want to feel that I have loved and been forgiving of others, even if it hasn't been a reciprocal relationship.
Hey, old girl, don't sweat what you haven't accomplished. Just be glad you made it through college, you held down a job, sometimes two at once. You did a lot of babysitting and leading kids at church, so maybe you were a minor, but positive, influence in some young lives. You survived surgeries, a stroke, a really bad marriage, and borderline poverty. Your biggest disappointment was not having children of your own, but that's a fairly big group of women in the same boat. Your life still mattered regardless of what you have occasionally felt about childlessness.
Look at all you've lived through: the Cold War, school drills for air attack, the X15 flight into space, John Glen orbiting the earth, man walking on the moon! You remember exactly where you were when you learned that John Kennedy was shot, saw the space shuttle explode after take-off, and heard about the attack on the twin towers. You remember the bells rang all over town, signaling the peace treaty in Vietnam and that wonderful feeling that came with it. Remember the first heart transplant in South Africa? You knew that was just a beginning and a sign of hope for all humanity.
You lived through the race based riots at your high school and bomb threats. When the black high school closed down, several years after desegregation, you were one of a few who called the members of the black band and invited them to marching practice before school started.
You've gone from IBM system 3 with drum storage to personal computers, desktops and laptops, and now i-pads. Hardly anyone has a landline anymore (you one of the last in your circles to even get one of those), You've seen personal, portable phones go from big clunky radio size, or even car phones, go to wallet size phones and add extra features, like calculators, music, and compass. Cell phones even take better pictures than some cameras.
And medicine! Not only heart transplants, but valve replacements, joint replacements, medications, and testing. Your first echo cardiogram in the 1980's was done by a doctor who spoke into a microphone, recording what he saw as he did the test. Ten years later, a technician, with no medical degree, did the whole procedure with a better protocol for privacy, and a doctor looked at the results the next day and wrote up a summary. You've seen such advances!
The world changed so dramatically while you lived, and you adjusted and changed with it Your generation has weathered a lot, causing some change, resisting a little, but emerging stronger. What a great time in history to have lived.