Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Basic Boyhood 3/11/09

To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am.

Bernard Baruch
Howdy, old timer.
What is this nonsense about age? This week I'm moving from one decade to another. But I don't feel any different. We have become brain washed into measuring our advancement by years. What are years? Numbers. Ridiculous. According to the numbers I am now too old to play some of the roles I used to play when I was too young to play them.

Why don't we have a different measurement for our growth and development such as wisdom, accomplishment or energy level? "How old are you?" "I'm at the 7.42 energy level." "Oh, you're so young yet!"

While it's true that growing old is not for the cowardly or squeamish, I don't think a person really gets "old" in the classical sense, until they decide to. With some men it happens in a strange back door manner. As soon as the specter of age starts creeping up on them they will do outrageous and undignified things to preserve the illusion of youth. Change their apparel, change their social life, swim the Hudson River, bungee jump blindfolded, etc. What Shakespeare calls "second childishness>" All that means is that they have decided to get old but refuse to admit it.

Others will go the opposite route and jump into old age with both feet, start noticing and complaining about every creak, crack, rough and wrinkle, practice the art of the thorough curmudgeon and generally annoy everyone around them.

But then there are others who will go calmly into advanced energy levels with grace and a sense of humor. I knew an old lady who used to laugh at herself with benign amusement when she couldn't remember someone's name.

As for me, I can no longer do some of the things old folks do. I'm not as old as I used to be.

DB - The Vagabond
Do something nice for an ancient one today.


Beth said...

I think I'm going to start thinking of myself in cat years: I'm not even 7 years old yet! :)


Gerry said...

Things happen to me like getting up in the night and going to the Internet to see if I can find one place to make a connection, because connections are drying up on me, for example my sister just younger than I am who went everywhere with me during childhood, as my mother put her in my care, she has disappeared out of my life and I am left wondering why, because that is a pretty big chunk. I am forced to miss her very much while she is still alive. Is that her purpose then to find some other way to fight. She has always had some alarming reactions to my personality. I was a big reader so she wouldn't read. I was a big talker so she wouldn't talk. Now I am a blogger she won't blog. We would get past all the hostilities when we were married to cousins and have great times, but I always feared she would marry someone who did not appreciate her family and she would be lost to us, because she could be too easily persuaded that was what she wanted. She would let the hostile side of her dominate, so I do think hostile attitudes retained into old age are what kill our quality of life. It's hard to break those down, like depending on the friends I meet through blogging has been tough, to take her place. I keep missing her, which I am sure is her satisfaction, but there are 'sisters' out there I know who won't be so hard to connect to who will make me feel better. Gerry

Big Mark 243 said...

I tell myself I am going to go in gliding ... ready to enjoy the world much like I do now.

Have to disagree about the bungee jumping thing. Some 'adventures' are soley for our youth, but for our own experience!

Maire said...

Ha! Ive been laughing at myself for years because I cannot remember anyones name!!
Because of the major health issues I have had, and now my husband, "Carpe Diem" has a whole new meaning. Have a wonderful day~

Arlene (AJ) said...

No matter what my age is I'm 18 in my heart and that will forever be my age. Everyone says, AJ you'll never get old, they are right, I enjoy each day, think young, may I always be this way.

René said...

Ditto to everyone's comments. They have said it all, c'est la vie mon ami.

Linda's World said...

I'm not old...I'm only 27 years old but with 40 years of experience. OR........I'm 30 not counting weekends. Linda in Washington

Jon said...

When I was fifteen, I thought twenty was old. When I was twenty, I thought thirty was old. When I was thirty, forty seemed ancient. Lately, I can lie outrageously about my age and knock ten years off - - and I'm STILL old. I guess you just can't win.......(but I'll always be a kid at heart). Jon

Linda S. Socha said...

You are great and a bit of a hoot and ...I love it. Thank you. You have such a way of saying what there is to be said about the topic at hand. I love the way you state the case, present the evidence and then take the other point of view.

Cheers my friend

SILVER said...

Something i remind myself- age only matters if one is cheese or wine. Since we're neither- then it shouldn't matter, my friend.

Happy birthday.. smiles..

Lori said...

You have written true wisdom in this entry, my friend! I love the Bernard Baruch quote, but I love your "energy-level" idea even better. My mother is one of those, like your friend, who has grace and a sense of humor, and she is 85.