10/15/2014 07:01 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Hazard Of A Healthy Life

I am always surprised when I realize I'm in my 50s. I know the years are whizzing by, but I don't really feel much difference. I still love to go clubbing with my girlies, I run half marathons, and go on long Harley rides with my husband. I have a very good job working with people I love. As a matter of fact, now that I have a little more money and freedom, things are better than ever for me.

But this year, I felt like time was catching up with me when my son had his 40th birthday. How can he be getting so old and I am still so young?

Okay, I know what you're thinking -- "big deal, she thinks she's getting old..." the same way that I used to laugh at women who complained about their hair turning gray. But this is different.

It's different because I don't want to live too long. I used to want to live to 100. It seemed to me that life is so interesting, I wanted to live as long as I could. I thought each age had its benefits and I wanted to experience them all.

Then I read an article in a magazine interviewing women over 100 years old. It changed my mind. The women had no friends left. The ones still alive were too feeble to remember who they were. Each woman had outlived husbands and buried most of their children. Which is easy to understand when you do the math. When I turn 100, my son will be 82.

Oh no, that's not for me at all. I don't want to see my children get old and feeble. I don't want them to get sick and die, to see my grandchildren live through calamities. I didn't realize that when I had my son at 18 that he'd ever get old.

We celebrated my son's birthday in Mexico and partied our asses off. I really was happy that he has grown into such a good man. But, I was reminded of my own passing years. That the moments are slipping away. I was reminded of the mortality of my son. Already, my children are becoming the ruling generation -- and we are becoming "the folks".

But then, with our improving health and lifestyle, we could far outlive our children. The reward of a long healthy life may mean that you lose everyone you love. That you may sit in vigils at their sickbeds, and even cry at their funerals.

The sad part is where does that leave me? I don't want to live too long, but I can't turn back the clock. I have to face it. I have to be brave and not focus on what the future may bring.

So while I'm hoping that everyone else stays healthy -- I'm trying to live for today. I'm trying to enjoy every minute and not wonder about the coming sadness of living too long.

Oh crap, this is going to be hard.

Virginia Sullivan is a blogger at Join the conversation and take part in living your best life every day. Share your thoughts and how you managed change in your life that leads to a better place. Visit me and share this on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for my newsletter at

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

11 Easy Ways To Shorten Your Life