You Get What You Deserve…

 

“You end up as you deserve. In old age you must put up with the face, the friends, the health, and the children you have earned.  — Fay Weldon

The quote here could be paraphrased as “You get what you deserve..” and there is certainly some wisdom to those words. When you start approaching the end of your life and aren’t all of us doing that all the time then you end up living with the consequences of your past experiences.  Lets start out at the back end of this quote and work from there.

The children you have had are now for the most part grown up and sometimes give us grandchildren and sometimes they don’t. Another startling fact is that they will likely be the ones who determine where we end up towards the end. At some point in everyone’s life we must give up control to someone else. Often that is our children.  So where you end your life might be the result of how you raised your kids. If you bestowed upon them a life of compassion and family then you might end your life with your loved ones around you. If you alienated them or let them migrate toward selfishness then you may be in trouble.

One the health thing, I’m not sure I want to get started on this one. In our later lives we live the consequences of our earlier health decisions. I shamefully admit that for twenty-five years I was a smoker. Although I quit about twenty years ago the consequences of those years are affecting me now. The smoking and the six years in a cabinet making shop breathing in sawdust have left me with beginning stage emphysema.  The years of brutalizing my knees had come back to haunt me.  My handful of serious falls on ice, due to imbalance problems associated with my deafness, have left me with numerous compression fractions up and down my back.

On the friends issue I am afraid that we guys get the brunt of this issue. You ladies generally do a better job of this than we do. I have made several close friends in different periods of my life. But for one reason or another I have let them slip away so that now that I am in my senior years I have only a few friends who I might even remotely call “close”. I am living with the consequences of not doing the work to keep my friends close.  I envy my wife in this regard. She has several friends who she talks with monthly. She frequently gets calls from friends she made in her high school years. They have remained friends for fifty years or more.

Finally there is the face part.  I’m not so sure I follow this one to any degree. As I have said before I am often surprised at the face that is looking back at me from the mirror every morning. But I’m not sure how I deserved to get so old looking 🙂

So, Fay is right on track here. You usually end up with what you deserve….