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Diana Nyad Motivational Quotes

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Greetings, Sparkpeeps!

It has come to my attention that this young lady has swum (swam? swimmed?) from Cuba to Key West. Without a shark cage. This is a notable task. I don't even like to take baths because I'm convinced Jaws will sneak up through the pipes and eat me. I'm not making that up. I can't even imagine the cojones it would take to swim in the open ocean for 53 hours without a shark cage. I mean, those suckers have a tendency to sneak up from underneath you, so beats me how she managed.

To celebrate this amazing feat, SparkPeople saw fit to post some motivational quotes from her. I watched the video clip as well, and there was one thing in particular that struck me as odd.

Perhaps I am just weird, but I've noticed this before in other people and just shrugged it off as idle talk. But this lady was talking about a true existential crisis. This crisis motivated her to do this thing. Her crisis? She was getting "old" and her life was over.

People, hear me. I do not know where this idea comes from, that after a certain age you might as well just throw in the towel because "life is over at [insert age here]." I was supposed to feel that way at 30. I am supposed to feel that way at 40. Well, guess what? I'm here to tell you that life does not end until you drop dead. It is completely and totally illogical to claim otherwise. Pssht. Life is over, my behind. I will declare my life to be over when I have gasped my last, and not before.

I have two examples for you: my Great Aunt Vola and my Great-great Uncle Balford. Great Aunt Vola basically stopped living when her husband died at a young age. He died in Korea during the war. Every time we went to see her, all she would talk about was how she wished Jesus would take her home to be with her husband and how she didn't understand why the Lord did not call her up to heaven any quicker. She did this for 40 years. Never sick a day in her life. Sewed a quilt or two a week from top to bottom. Grew a full garden. Canned her own vegetables. And was dying for 40 years. When she finally did die, people said that it was a blessing so she could finally be at peace.

On the other end of the spectrum was my Great-great Uncle Balford. Granted, his world-view stopped expanding in about 1930 (he was always shocked that I did not have any children and owned my own business and married some durn ferriner, and was also shocked to find that when he finally ventured into Nashville for something that the bathrooms were integrated). That old codger lived to be 101. He was always raring to go. Never met a stranger. Liked to hear about the world. He was pretty upbeat for somebody who lived through both world wars and the Great Depression and had outlived all his friends and relatives, including Great-great Aunt Alice (who never spoke, or at least couldn't get a word in edgewise). Even in the nursing home when he was laid up with a broken hip, he still found the energy to hit on the nurses. Now, granted, he never did anything as inspiring as Diana Nyad, but I'd say he lived all his life, and when he finally laid down to rest, he was done.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that life is only over when you say it is over, or it is decided for you and you can't do anything about it. There is no "life is over" after a certain, or any age. So whoever came up with such a ridiculous statement needs to shove it up their tailpipe.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just weird that way.
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