I’m thinking about getting a puppy and naming him “Usta.” Since I am out walking everyday anyway, this should work out just fine. The only problem I can contemplate is that the puppy will get confused because everybody will be calling him.
Seldom is there a gathering of people that his name is not used. “I usta be a great piano teacher.” “I usta be able to run 4 miles.” ”I usta be president of ABC Company.” “I usta leap tall buildings in a single bound.”
I have my own ustas. Usta be afraid of the bullies on my elementary school playground. Usta be terrified that God was going to punish me severely for having accepted a piece of chewing gun from a schoolmate on a “fasting” day. Usta worry that my SAT scores were not sufficient (now I don’t even remember them). Usta contemplate how I was ever going to get old if I was already in so much pain. Usta agonize over the possibility that my autistic daughter would never be independent (she is). On and on. We all have good and not so good ‘ustas.’
These frequent refrains of regret about what one can no longer do are understandable, but non-productive. OK, I know that it is most commonly held that getting old is not a good thing. However, like everything else, there are two sides to the story. For the most part, I have been content to grow older.
Where am I going with this train of thought? As the worries of the past fade and I realize that I have survived, perhaps a more functional approach is to concentrate on what I can still do, or even better, can learn to do. New computer skills; new telephone skills; new games and puzzles; new politics; new friends; new opportunities to help others and, perhaps most important, new acceptance of the care others wish to provide for me.
About that puppy? I’m still considering it. But his name will be “Gona.”