I'm Aging—and Panicking. Where Can I Find Peace?
As you get older, you find yourself turning into your parents, but that helps you understand them. You're humbled, because you begin to see how easy it is to make mistakes. Also, I think facing your own mortality gives you courage: If not now, when? I lost both my parents, and then at age 51 I finally bought a cello, because by God, I'd always wanted to play. The sooner you start to number your days, the better you'll live the days that you have. I went snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef a few years ago, and I was terrified to let go of the boat—but when I saw the coral, it was so beautiful that I could have stayed there forever. I said to myself, "This is it. All you have is the here and now, and your here is gorgeous. Be as alive to it as you can."
Psychotherapist Wendy Lustbader is the author of Life Gets Better: The Unexpected Pleasures of Growing Older