I just returned from a mission trip to Belize. It dawned on me while I was there that planning for aging is a lot like planning for trip to a foreign country. You can read books and learn about what to expect, pack for a variety of experiences, but when you arrive, you depend on the help of those around you to make the most of your journey.
I packed rain boots but didn’t realize that the duct tape wasn’t going to hold so I needed to buy a new pair. My new boots were only $8 and are a unique memento of my trip.
The flies swarm in the rain and I wasn’t even that phased by the fly in the bottom of my cup of coffee on the 6th day.
The warmth of the people and their suggestions on how to cure heat rash (rub a lime on your skin), avoid the killer bees, and even the tasty chew on the leaves of the all-spice tree enhanced our journey.
As American’s we are fiercely independent but need to learn how to trust and depend on others. The fact that 7 out of 10 Americans turning 65 today will need 3 or more years of long-term care requires that we share life plans, our weaknesses (not just our strengths), and accept help when we might need it most. Discovered.
Life is a journey, and I hope to make the best of it even up to the end, when most likely, I will need the help from others to manage even my day-to-day activities.