What is a life worth living? We’ve heard the term before, in print and aloud. Marketed to us as the “new American Dream”, shoved down our unsuspecting throats.
I get it, it makes sense, a life worth living is one that is purposeful. So why do so few find purpose?
One of the things that’ll always attract me towards healthcare, towards serving both the salt and scum of the Earth equally, is the introspection it brings .
As I’ve started settling in to my new job as a Clinical Dietitian, I’ve become familiar with the invisible burdens the “you’s” and “me’s” carry around.
No wife, tough times, no dreams, blurred nights. Bottle by bottle, smoke after smoke, we kill the time while our organs choke.
It’s something that’s difficult to grasp as a fresh out of college, whole-life-before-him, person in the world. I know the effort I’ve put into getting here, the goals and work that lay ahead.
To get to that point, retirement or whatnot and simply have nothing to do seems like flying the world and keeping only a bag of peanuts as a souvenir.
It kills me every time I see a patient come in like that.
It reminds me of a quote I’ll paraphrase that goes something like “We give up health for great wealth, then our wealth for good health, giving us little of each”
That may or may not have rhymed the first time I heard it. Either way, it should strike a chord.
Believe it or not, you have to make it to retirement to enjoy it.
The saddest part is, as I explain things like this (in much gentler terms) to patients, they feel powerless to start fresh.
They don’t believe that today is different than yesterday.
So I’ll end my rant by saying, it’s never too late. Even if the odds are against you, or the hill seems too tall, each moment is the wisest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.
Turn the page and be good to each other.
– Joshua Iufer, RD