An Old Man In Love
Where in the world did this dumb idea that getting old is a bad thing come from?!! How many people bemoan the fact that they are getting ‘old’? And who decided that as we age we become less mentally competent?
I’m going to let you in on a wee secret. I LOVE being old! I love the easing of financial pressure. I love the leisure time I have, now that I’m retired, to explore things I’ve been curious about for years. I love having the ability to put a lifetime of experience to work to “solve the mysteries of life”; if not at the level of the great philosophers, at least at a level satisfactory to me.
Oh I hate the aches and pains that sometimes accompany the aging of the body. And I’m not at all enamoured of the inability to do certain things that were easily done when I was younger. But there “ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” and I understand full well that the body is wearing out just when the mind is peaking. So what?
I cannot and I will not let this occupy my mind or my time. It simply does not matter. There are those who seem to have nothing more to do than to wail about how their body is breaking down and how unfair it all is. Shame on you! Of course it’s unfair. What, in life, has ever been “fair”? Forget fair. It doesn’t exist, except in your mind.
I am also growing a bit weary of those, well intentioned, younger folk who have taken it upon themselves to tell us oldsters how to live our lives. With bright, university educated, minds, they come at us with all sorts of ‘suggestions’. Most of which involve ‘keeping busy’. They, with their young active lives, see keeping busy as a good thing. And so it is....for them!
I want nothing more than to sit on my fat duff and stop being “busy”. I’ve been ‘busy’ for many, many years. I’ve had it up to ‘here’ with ‘busy’! If you insist that I be busy then allow me please to determine what I’ll be busy at. My favourite thing to be busy at is being ‘un-busy’. So there. Leave me alone. Go ‘busy’ yerself with whatever it is that you young people keep busy doing these days.
One of the greatest pleasures of age is to put to use many years of learning, experience and thought. Not to get rich with. Not to ‘pass on’ to children and grandchildren. Just for the personal satisfaction of it. For me. For the love of it.
So spare me your ‘make busy’ schemes. I DO NOT want to go lawn bowling. I detest the very idea of joining ‘seniors clubs’ full of others who probably don’t really want to be there either.
I don’t want to pretend that I’m young. I like being old. No; I love it!! At last I have time, after marriage, children, buying a home, paying the bills, competing for advancement, saving a few bucks, and all the other business of living a full life, to put my feet up, sag back in a comfy old chair and just savour the experience of being alive. And, sometimes, to write about it.
I also have the joy of watching you younger folk build your lives. I watch you make some of the same mistakes that I made. I watch you avoid some of them and marvel at how you work things out for yourselves. But I am not envious of you or your tasks in life. I merely observe and contemplate. This is my ‘job’ and if you insist that I be ‘busy’ at something, then consider me busy at that.
So the next time you see me just ‘a sittin’ and a rockin’, do not think that I have nothing to do and that I am therefore bored out of my skull. I am happier than I have ever been in my life. I have gained a contentment that you’ll not know for a good many years yet. I’m old....... And I’m lovin’ it!!