Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Getting Old

Getting old (er) is the only chance we have to put into practice what we’ve supposedly learned along the way.  Getting old, in itself, implies that there was an ‘along the way’.   Without an ‘along the way’ there would be no wisdom to have accumulated to help us through today and all the coming tomorrow’s.  And that being the case, the mistakes we make would be for not having had the opportunity to have made them before, so as not to make the same ones again.

Now, as we get older if we continue to make the same mistakes we have to consider that just maybe we’re not nearly as smart as we’ve always thought ourselves to be.  Not nearly as clued in, not nearly as conscious, and not nearly as astute.  Either that, or we just don’t happen to care.  And that, I must admit, is pretty sad if it has become the operating principle in one’s life.

But, as we all know, there is the physical aspect of getting older also, and, concerning that dynamic, I just want to say that mama never told me that virtually everything in, on, or around my body would end up hurting.  Daddy never let on that he was in pain for much of the second half of his life, and the two of them together seemed as if all their secrets were safely locked away beneath an uncommon, but perhaps unhealthy, stoicism.

There’s a fuzzy line between being honest enough about your pain for the information to be informative for those around you, and those coming up behind you, and being vocal about it to the degree that it becomes self-indulgence for the intended purpose of garnering sympathy.  We need to be careful what we do with our pain.  After all, it is our pain, and it should not be foisted upon the general collective.  We’ve all heard about suffering in silence, and we’re all acquainted with someone who cannot stop talking about their own suffering.  Neither dynamic is of particular benefit to the person inflicted, and both can prove to be more damaging to the individual than the actual malady itself, or the pain that it engenders.

Ageing is for the old.  It’s not for the young.  The young have too much to learn, and too much to do to pay attention to all the peripheral setbacks and nagging concerns associated with a perpetually declining body.  The secret to ageing gracefully, I believe, the saving grace, if you will, is to not let your spirit break down along with your body.