THE BLOG
10/23/2014 05:20 pm ET Updated Dec 23, 2014

Give Ups

Aging is a series of give-ups. Of course, you have to live long enough. If you die from a stroke at 50, you haven't given up anything -- just your life.

I will be 88 next month and have been giving up for the last decade. At around 80 I gave up roller blading and singles tennis. I gave up my office, or rather the firm gave me up, deciding to move without making any provision for moi.

I have given up walking the streets of New York except for short distances. I can walk to the subway and thence to my destination if it is only a few blocks away. But it gets me in my lower back if I walk 10 blocks. I just bought a cane, which helps a little but is not the image I want to convey. Travel is constrained because walking the streets of London or Paris wouldn't be what it used to be.

Next June I will be giving up the presidency of our family foundation. After 37 years, it's time. I have also given up writing plays. which gave me much pleasure in the writing and production. And in my tennis doubles game I have given up playing half the time because I know I am an impediment to a better game.

Despite my hearing aids, conversation in restaurants passes me by. Same goes for board meetings. For stretches I haven't a clue. This also applies to movies and plays. Television became accessible when this luddite learned of closed captions.

If I am lucky to survive another several years or more, there will be other give-ups. Roller blading gave way to my bike. Eventually, my bike will go too. My tennis racquet will be donated to a worthy youngster. I may substitute a walker for my cane. Yuch!

Sing no sad songs for me. I am writing this in my favorite chair. Soon Iris and I will have a delicious dinner (takeout of course). The New Yorker arrived today and I am in the midst of The Boys in the Boat, a page turner. Tomorrow I have my acting class. Next week we will be taking three grandchildren to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.

Children and grandchildren, friends, people to see, places to go, things to do.

I have NOT given up.