The book is called 'Being Mortal' by Atul Gawande and as the title suggests it is an insight in to how we want our lives to be at the very end of our days and how medicine often fails to take into account the quality of our life other than in terms of our safety, medical and basic survival needs.
It's not an easy read and certainly it's not a barrel of laughs, but I found it very interesting indeed and it has certainly made me think about having the difficult conversation about how we would like our final days to look, with our children earlier rather than later!
Funnily enough, this post ties in rather neatly with this post http://frugalinnorfolk.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/needs-wants-and-wastlefulness.html over on Frugal in Norfolk. It seems many of us are moving away from old, commercial, stuff laden, stressful, work driven lives to simpler, more purposeful, even spiritual lives.
One passage from the book in particular seemed to sum up exactly how I feel about life now. Obviously I'm hoping there's a lot more winding down to be done before my final days, but I certainly feel as if I am on the verge of a new chapter.
"As our time winds down, we all seek comfort in simple pleasures - companionship, everyday routines, the taste of good food, the warmth of sunlight on our faces. We become less interested in the rewards of achieving and accumulating, and more interested in the rewards of simply being. Yet while we may feel less ambitious, we also become concerned for our legacy. And we have a deep need to identify purposes outside ourselves that make living feel meaningful and worthwhile."
Also in the book, Atul quotes the philosopher Ronald Dworkin who wrote "The value of autonomy.... lies in the scheme of responsibility it creates:autonomy makes each of us responsible for shaping his own life according to some coherent and distinctive sense of character, conviction and interest. It allows us to lead our own lives rather than be led along them..."
We are all of us looking to be able to take charge of our own lives and live them in the way we feel is right, right up until the very end. It surely is the most important thing for a human being to feel that they have led their lives based on their core values and ideals?
And to cheer you up ....