I sometimes joke about how getting old isn’t for sissies. I know that’s probably not a politically correct term to use. I guess I could say for the weak, but that wouldn’t have the same effect. Getting old is perceived as a burden by some, and a blessing by others. As you know, I choose the later characterization as my preferred way to look at this event.
When I was a much younger person, I didn’t understand older people saying that they wouldn’t live life again as their younger selves. As I looked at an older person back then declaring such a statement, while looking a bit frayed around the edges, I thought there was something wrong with them. They would also make comments like youth is wasted on the young; youth is something wonderful, it’s a shame that it’s wasted on children; and other light pejoratives. I would look at them with a little frustration and think you’re just jealous. I wouldn’t dare make a comment that might generate an argument. Back then, young folks didn’t argue with their elders. We had been trained to show respect even if old folks had no idea what they were talking about.
Now, I understand well what the old people used to say. As I look around to see the old people, I see myself and those of my generation. There is some discomfort that comes with growing old; however, who in their right mind would want to go through some the growing pains we experienced to reach my age of seventy-one? My experiences have taught me that Nirvana (never to be achieved in this life) is a fairy tale concept of existence. It also has taught me that much of the stuff I’ve gone through, I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I’m now at a point where wisdom is my gift, and I’m yet in possession of a good amount of mental and physical health to use as I navigate through my latter years.
There’s a Biblical verse from Ecclesiastes 1:9. “What has been will be again, and what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Now, that I’ve reached my age, I’ve witnessed several repeat occurrences in life. Their flavor, smell, and sound, indeed their essence remains constant. Maybe the title of this piece isn’t accurate, bit it’s pretty darn close. (I could swear I’ve seen what’s going on in Ukraine before, and maybe more than once.)
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.