As we get older there are two ever-present conditions we find ourselves: being slowly replaced and constantly being repaired.
Fixing the clog under the sink, taking care of the lawn, putting on a new closet door...the types of things we have done most of our lives are being parceled out to others. Simple maintenance chores now trigger a call to a handyman half our age. Cleaning the house? Others more nimble can do a better, quicker job.
The thought of replacing a toilet (what is a wax seal?) or putting in a disposal that actually grinds up food triggers an anxiety attack.
We are mature enough to know what we can do and what would not be wise to tackle. Maybe 15-20 years ago putting up a new ceiling fan would be a simple, hour-long weekend project. Now, the thought of climbing a ladder, trying to not electrocute ourselves, and getting the fan to not wobble like a college student on a Friday night....too much.
The other condition is one of constant repair and maintenance. Doctor visits, clinic stops, pharmacies that politely give us our own parking spot. Eye exams that confirm the street signs are not at fault for being out of focus. The dentists who remark on how good our gums look for our age.
The annual checkups. let's not forget the "procedure" that is strongly recommended (think colonoscopy).
The human body is an amazingly complex machine, that comes with annoying flaws: a best if used by date (unknown to us but still there), and obsolescence of all the various parts and abilities. Think of our bodies as a out-of-date computer. It still functions but is much slower and prone to glitches now and then. Eventually, you flip the power switch and ...nothing.
Is our state of replacement by others more competent at something, and repair of a body that is designed to ultimately stop working depressing? Do these "facts" cause us to pull into a shell and bemoan our fate?
To some people, yes. But, to the people I know best, no way. This is the hand we were dealt. There are no "mulligans," no redeals, no reshuffles, no reboot. So, our task is to make the absolute most of every moment, every opportunity, every day.
Hiring someone else to do something we once did and using what assists are available to keep our body functioning are as much a part of life as learning to walk, use the toilet, figure out calculus, and interact with other human beings.
Just remember one very important caveat: each of us brings a uniqueness to the game that cannot be replaced or repaired in a way that changes who we are.