When I was very young I, like many children, possessed a vivid imagination. I could imagine most anything occurring at anytime. At one time or another I was a superhero, a long lost king from a long lost civilization, a big league baseball player, an NFL quarterback, a race car driver, an attorney presenting a case before the Supreme Court, and I’m sure there was a time I even imagined growing up to become a movie star, a singer, or maybe even President.
As I grew older my imagination became less vivid. I still imagined, however, growing up to become someone famous, and, at time, infamous. Wyatt Earp, Billy The Kid, J.D. Rockefeller, Audie Murphy, General Patton, Ghandi. There was no telling where my thoughts might lead me. My ideas of the future were filled with an unlimited number of possibilities.
When I reached the age of young adulthood my imagination became less of an imagination and more of a probability. My thoughts were less of something I could never be. They turned to the idea that I might just possibly become what I was destined to become and nothing more. In short, reality and awareness took the place of dreams and images of grandeur.
I soon reached the age where I began imagining getting older. I would imagine living to be a hundred, and beyond. More realistically, I imagined becoming the age I am now. The age where those who are younger seek you out for advise. The age where your life experiences make you a valuable asset to your community. The age where the young begin to think of you as older than dirt.
With this great imagination of mine there is one thing that I forgot to think about, though. More than anything, I wish now that I had thought about it so the I might prepare for it. You see, I never imagined what it would be like to become the age I am now. I thought about arriving at this age, but not once did I ever think about what that might be like. Those mornings where waking up on this side of the dirt is reason enough to rejoice. That time when falling asleep during the evening news becomes a commonplace event. The aches, the pains, the sleepless nights.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you are not at this age, yet, you should not only imagine getting to this age, but really think about what it will be like when you do get here. Start preparing for that time when your mind still thinks you’re half the age you are, and your body begins to react like you might be twice the age you are. It’s coming. There’s no stopping it. But, you can prepare for it. First, though, you might consider imagining it. I don’t know if it will help, but it can’t hurt.