Friday, March 30, 2012

Getting Older Is Not a Felony









Getting older is not a felony…it’s just a misdemeanor.

I know I’m getting older because every day my newspaper has a new date on it.


My orange juice no longer comes in a carton but instead, a bourgeois, plastic carafe.

The box of Twinkies I bought right after college just expired.

Filling my gas tank, today, cost more than I paid for my first car.

The only person I used to know with a mobile phone was Maxwell Smart....

Time passes and life happens; that’s how it is.

If you’re philosophical you might ask, “Why does life happen?”

If you’re not philosophical...you probably have a good job...and you say, “Life happens so we have something to do and someplace to go when we get out of bed”.

And if we get older in the meantime…so be it, because getting older is nothing to worry about. 

However, not getting older is definitely something to worry about.

So why is it that we all angst over every new birthday?

It wasn’t always that way.  When we were very young—like 5-6 or 7 young—all we wanted to be was older. Old enough to go to the movies by ourselves, ride the roller coaster, stay up past 9.

When we were 13-15, we wanted to be older so we could grow a beard or wear a bra; get a driver’s license and drive a car. 

If you wanted to grow a beard and wear a bra, you were probably my 9th grade algebra teacher.

Even at 20, we still wanted a little age elevation so we could be done with school, make money and get on with our lives.  But…even at 20, we started thinking how odd it seems not to be able to attach “teen” to the end of our years.

And so it began…the wary look towards the future as we began to feel the tickle of the past slipping away.

We whispered, slow down world…slow down…at least just a bit.

Now, as most of my closest friends and I approach and reach 60, we say…

“HIT THE DAMN BRAKES, WORLD… HIT THE DAMN BRAKES!!!!!!!” 

At least just a bit.

But I assume that’s a normal reaction…maybe.

When a friend of mine lamented, shortly before he was to turn 30, some 28 years ago, that the prospect was at best deflating and at worst defeating, I recall responding with the optimistic wisdom of one who had already turned that magic number, several months prior, that I looked at it as a triumph that I was still able to do the things at 30 that I could do at 18. Like tracking down a well struck ball to left field and even sometimes catching it…sometimes.

In fact, at 30 it was actually somewhat easier, because at 18 I waited until the ball was well up in the air, then ran like crazy to the spot where I saw it coming down. Sometimes I got there just as the ball did, and sometimes I didn’t.

At 30 I had more experience; experience to gauge the sound and angle of the ball coming off the bat so I could run, before the ball was well up in the air, to where I knew it was going to come down and get there a couple of seconds ahead of it.

By 40 I had learned that if I dropped the ball, to grab the back of my leg, fall down, and pretend I pulled a hamstring; either that or keep running to the parking lot and get in my car.

So, at least in my mind, experience trumps youth…and the experience of living trumps all. 

Now, when I hear someone lamenting the burden of turning 30, I smile and think to myself, they will never really understand 30 until they turn 40 or 40 until they turn 50 and 50 until they turn 60…and so on and so on.

Until then it’s just a spin of the wheel…every day.

So when you look in the mirror today, don’t shudder because the face you see is no longer 25.

Smile, because the face you see is the face of the person you were always meant to be.


And that's not too bad....


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Every minute of life carries with it
its miraculous value, and its face
of eternal youth.

Albert Camus


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6 comments:

  1. Such great wisdom, Brian ~ You are wise beyond your years...oh wait...you're 60 now...never mind ;)

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  2. Sixty? Sixty?? Oh well 'Life is a Beach' for him anyway ��

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  3. If you think age 60 brings some wisdom just wait until age 80...like realizing half the people you knew are all dead and many others are no longer viable...and then look into the mirror and ask who is that person????

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  4. If you think age 60 brings some wisdom wait until age 80 when you realize that half of the people you knew are dead and the remainders are not so viable...and when you look into the mirror you ask who is that person??..and then you realize it must all be god's will or it would be different...not the manmade god of holy books but the prime mover in the universe...generator, operator, destroyer...GOD....it does whatever it wants with whomever it wants...ergo theofatalism...google for details...www.theofatalism.org

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sedona for sharing your point of view, sobering as it may be. On the plus side, you are obviously a forward looking person who embraces the now. But are you referring to Donald Trump in the last part of your treatise? I often look in the mirror myself, these days, and ask , "who is that person???" However I find if I tape a backward written name tag on my shirt, it helps with the confusion. ;-) Stay well ....

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