One of our long-time friends—meaning an OLD friend—decided to prune some trees in her back yard. No problem. She’s done it before. So she got out the ladder, climbed up with her snippers, and went to work. Reached too far. Lost her balance. Fell. Caught her leg in the ladder. Hung upside down, caught between the ladder and the chain-link fence. For a LONG time. Because her husband wasn’t home, and nobody else could hear her yell for help.
What was the problem? Something that afflicts all people, all the time, but which is exacerbated in old age—being behind the learning curve in knowing what our limits are.
Usually, we find out that our limits have changed by doing what used to be within our limits, and ending up hanging upside down.
But shouldn’t we resist accepting limits? Doesn’t that diminish life? Shouldn’t we be brave old people who look at limits and laugh at them? Like those 90 year old marathoners and body builders?
Look, being smart about changing limits does not diminish life nearly as much as not knowing those limits and spending the day hanging upside down.
Being smart about not climbing a ladder when you are home alone is not limiting. Accepting your limits doesn’t make you old. Falling on your head makes you old.
John Robert McFarland
Bonus quote about limitations: As a saint I have limitations; as a sinner, none.