Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Well, none of us is getting any younger...
...as if we needed to be reminded of THAT, right?

I am wondrously happy to be alive. To have survived all these years, especially when I take into account that people far more important than me, who've lived fuller lives and have done lots more than me have fallen by the wayside, and somehow, for some unknown reason (or maybe there's no 'reason' to it at all), I'm still alive on this little ball of rock as it hurtles madly through space.

Age is slowing me down, making me feel vulnerable, and putting me more frequently in touch with the medical community, but I'd like to think that getting old is your reward for taking care of yourself when you were younger. But there's no 'reason' in that statement, either. There are folks who have smoked and drank heavily all their lives, living to ripe old age, while there are those who pass away from cancer when they're barely 20 or 30 years old, having lived clean and honorable lives. So there is no rhyme or reason. We're just 'here' 'till we're 'not', and that's that, right?

The passage of time has made me realize that I CAN'T keep up on everything, or know everything, but yet, that's a comfort, because I can more fully explore the things I do know about, and leave all the 'new' stuff for all the up-and-comers out there. Or, I can choose to find out about new things if I want...and then retreat back into my shell of comfortability when I've had enough of a certain 'new' thing. Such as this computer...it's wondrous, it's new, it's instant, but still I have to shut it off sometimes, so I can hang on to what's left of my sanity.


It's funny, how I used to think my parents were old-fashioned 'squares', and how I thot I was so 'hip' because I knew about the latest music, the latest stars, the latest fads, the latest things...and now, while I still want to learn about new things, maybe I don't want to 'stretch' myself too much lest I end up losing myself in the process. I find myself remembering 'way back when' things were more simple, a handshake was as good as a promise, and people actually kept their promises.

I find that I'm thankful whenever I meet someone older than me, because that means I'm not the oldest person in the room...or on the planet. And I find that if someone needs advice, who can benefit from my past experiences ('cos I sure haven't!), I feel like the wise old sage imparting pearls and jewels of wisdom to that (probably younger) someone I'm talking to. Although part of me thinks they're just humoring me by pretending to listen, hoping I'll soon shut up and go away.

As I age, I'm finding it's less important for me to actually go out and do things. I find I am actually quite comfortable with just staying home 2 or 3 days a week, and on those days that I do go out, I always try to get back home by sunset, because I'm not as comfortable navigating in the darkness as I used to be. As a matter of fact, these last few years, I'm finding the 'night' to be darker than it used to be, if that's at all possible. Or, perhaps, I'm acquiring night blindness as I age. Oh, grrrreat...another thing to worry about.

It used to be, I'd see a 'Seasoned Citizen' walking around, and I'd think to myself, "Gosh, that guy looks old". And I still think that whenever I run across some little old guy with gray hair stooped over and walking slowly to wherever he's trying to go. Only now, I'm also thinking to myself, "gosh, these old people aren't so much older than me anymore." I'm also less-inclined to look at attractive young ladies for more than half-a-second anymore, because what's the use? If they knew me, they'd probably think, "gosh, he's older than my grandpa". And ya know, when I talk to young people, at times I almost FEEL like a grandpa.
Although I try to keep up on music (which is basically the only thing I know anything about), most of the music I listen to came out back before gasoline had even reached the 50-cent per gallon level. I consider all music recorded after 1985 to be "new". New to me, anyway. My copy of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper" album (which I got as a birthday present in 1968) still looks and sounds pretty-much the same, while at the same time the Man In The Mirror grows older, grayer and slower. And, for some reason, I like big-band, swing and depression-era music a whole lot more than I once did. Music as escapism. Works for me.

It's funny how certain things hit my memory banks. For instance, in a little grocery store recently, I looked in their freezer and saw a bunch of frozen flavored-ice sticks, and remembered when my sister and I used to ride our bikes to the grocery store and get a loaf of bread or some such thing for Mom, who would always give us a little extra money...and my sister and I would buy those little "Mr. Freeze" pops; they were so good on a hot summer day. My favorite flavor was Orange. Still is.


I've come to accept, at this stage in my life, there are a whole lot of places I'll probably never see. Such as Florida, for example. That's okay, though; I can see a portion of that area whenever I tune in "CSI: Miami" re-runs. Besides, I don't want to get killed on a Florida highway; I've heard that criminals station themselves along Florida's main roads looking for some stupid tourist they can rob and bump off (not necessarily in that order). Though, there is one place I'd like to go: England. Liverpool and London, especially. I'm such a Beatle-freak, y'know. You know, The Beatles; the group that broke up almost 40 YEARS ago...?

Back 15 or 20 years ago, I just HAD to go out on weekend evenings. Wild horses couldn't have kept me away. I just had to see things, do things, and oh yes, drink more than my share so I could 'be somebody'. That's how I know people don't choose to become alcoholics, because I put away a whole lot of beer and other concoctions, and never became alcohol-dependent. Not physically, anyway. These past few years, I find myself sitting home watching TV or listening to music, and I'm just fine where I'm at. In fact, I'm probably having more fun at home, than if I did go out. And on the relatively few times I've gone out lately, I find myself heading home no later than 10pm. There's just nothing out there in the night-life for me anymore.

Whenever I read about couples who've been together for ages, I can't help wondering how they DID that. I go batty if I have to hold down a conversation for more than ten minutes, let alone a LIFETIME. Sometimes I feel like I'd need at least a 300-year life span to be able to do everything most people have done in 60 or 70 years. Relationships have never been my forte. But, as I age, I just kinda accept that. And more often than not, I'm actually quite content with it. I used to never think about the End of my life. Now, I try Not to think about it. Big difference there. Maybe, in death, there are no more problems, no more hassles, no more sadness, but still, I want to live, because my philosophy, more and more, is...

My high school classmate, Robert, who works in the health-care industry here in Oregon, sent me all of these old-age 'satirical' banners. Only, as I think about it, maybe they're not satirical at all. I guess it's called "gallows humor", where you just kinda laugh at everything, because it's gonna happen whether you laugh or not. All in all, life is pretty good. As long as I don't think about it too much, that is. And I've probably thot about it more than I should've in this post.
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However, there is one morbid little bit of philosophy that Robert DIDN'T send me...so in friendly retaliation for all the above little banners, I sent him this charming little retort which I heard long ago, and at last, have a chance to spring on someone. It goes like this..."It ain't the cough that carries you off...it's the coffin they carry you off in." (I think that would qualify as 'gallows humor'.)

1 Comments:

Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

Regarding long time couples ability to communicate - the longer together the less needs to be said. A look says volumes as does doing absolutely nothing. You just know. That's what makes it so comfortable. Just the presence.

1:48 PM  

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