At the end of my yearly physical, a nurse handed me a printout overview of my appointment, complete with the doctors notes, as well as a list of the basic categories.
I quickly looked over the list to make sure all my information was filled in correctly. Then I noticed one last category that I’d never seen before.
What?! I was appalled. They considered aging to be chronic. Are they kidding?! Talk about creating a label to make you feel feeble.
Chronic is defined as a long developing syndrome. If aging is defined as chronic, then life must be chronic as well, so we all have a chronic case of life! Change is also chronic. Even love is chronic. (though not always the romantic kind of love, as we are all well aware.)
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a chronic case of wisdom, chronic compassion, or chronic kindness? How about being chronically curious? Can you imagine someone developing a pill to help you get over this!?
Faith, friends, trust, and courage are a few of the things that help us move through divorce. All of these are chronic conditions, and all of these chronic conditions have developed, strengthened, and are enriched, because we have aged.
I was adamant that I would not accept the label of chronic and began thinking of optional labels.
Then I read somewhere that when we name or label something, we often limit what we see and limit the possibilities of what, or who, we have named.
None of us need a label that limits us or defines us in a narrow way. I decided I do not want a label for my journey through life, from my doctor or from anyone else.