Last night, while watching The Crown, a line Philip’s mother said resonated with me as truth for my own life. The line is “When I turned 70 I realized I was just a spectator not a participant.” As I look at my life, I find this is mostly true.
I am a spectator. I’m not complaining, just observing. Most of my time is spent alone. When I’m with a group of people, mostly I’m a spectator. I’ve lost the quick wit and spontaneity of youth. My life offers little in comparison to a younger generation.
As the conversations fly amid laughter, I’m usually a beat behind. Sometimes I open my mouth, but what emerges falls flat. I’m much more comfortable interacting with people of my generation…once I get to know them.
I lost participation when I retired. I wonder how many others my age feel the same. With age comes a bevy of body breakdown which removes the possibility of standing for long periods of time, lifting weighty objects, and endurance. How does one volunteer with a heart willing, but body unwilling?
And so, I sit at home, writing words on a keyboard, participating in a passive way…alone. Not that I’m sad about this stage of life. It gives me more time to spend getting closer to God.
Lifting my cup of tea, grateful I can do this with ease, and asking the question: Are you a participant or a spectator?