Last week I noticed that I was running really low on shaving cream and I made a mental note to buy some more. That reminded me of when and how I bought the almost-empty tube in the first place.
It was smack dab in the COVID-19 lockdown, during the time when I wasn’t going shopping in public—I wasn’t going anywhere in public. I used to take going shopping for granted. Indeed, I used to take going anywhere in public for granted. As chance would have it, I was about to fill a prescription online and have it delivered to my front porch. I managed to get shaving cream included with that delivery, but most of the familiar shaving creams were out of stock. No Gillette, no Edge, no Barbasol.
I was forced to purchase oatmeal-based, shea butter shaving cream, something I’d never even heard of before. And guess what? It worked really, really well! One of the smoothest, most comfortable and enjoyable shaves I’d ever experienced.
Back then, I thought about how many thousands of shaves I’d had with the mainstream Gillette stuff, and about how few shaves I might have left with my newly discovered shave cream. I remember thinking about whether I’d even live long enough to finish that new tube of shaving cream. Some may consider this a morbid thought process, but I was just being honest. And now here I am, two months after heart surgery, still going and about to run out of that shaving cream.
Back then, I wished I’d known about this slick shave stuff years before. I regretted what I’d missed out on! Too bad this discovery came so late in my life. But wait, I thought—even if I get just a few years’ or even just a handful outstanding shaves out of this, they each feel so smooth and easy and bring a smile to my face. It’s better to have the experience than never at all.
I realized that the value is both in how long we get to savor an experience and in knowing the possibility of such experience exists. It’s never too late to have a really smooth shave!
Trusting our futures is one of the opportunities that aging affords us. Self-confidence is one of the gifts that we can give to ourselves if we age with intention.
I was grateful that I’d had to order some weird shaving cream online because of the pandemic. I appreciated that, even with its horrific downside, a crisis can provide both danger and opportunity.
Marc Blesoff was a criminal defense attorney for 35 years, then he began facilitating Conscious Aging workshops, which has helped him melt the armor he’d built up as a defense lawyer. He’s a founding member of Courageus (formerly A Tribe Called Aging), a group of activists and thinkers trying to re-frame our culture’s outlook, policies and fears about aging and dying. Currently, he is the chairperson of the Oak Park, IL Aging-In-Place Commission.