I can’t say much good comes from growing old. But I put my feeble mind to the task and came up with four things that are good about advancing age — at least for me.
First, its easier to focus on appreciating “right now” becuz you know the sand in your hour-glass is rushing toward the bottom.
Second, you’re more appreciative of your children, grandchildren (and hopefully great grandkids) and good friends.
Third, it gives you a good reason to not suffer fools lightly. You have plenty of time for foolishness, but not for fools.
And, fourth, you have the perspective from decades of observation and experience to put the present into perfect context with the past. In short, you’ve earned your “Life’s Critic Badge” and you’re experienced enuf to use it wisely and often.
Appreciating “right now” means good foods pleasure your palate more deeply and good drinks tingle the taste buds to a higher degree. Want a good rare filet mignon? Eat it. Want a dish of Decadent Fudge ice cream? Go ahead. Want another ice cold Dos Equis Mexican beer with rivulets of condensate dripping down the side? Bottoms up! Want a relaxing goblet of red wine, a highball of Crown Royal or Chivas Regal? Why not? Sip and savor. You know homegrown food from the garden, the hen house, the pasture or the woods tastes better (and is probably better for you), so plant, harvest, can and freeze your own while you can — then happily chew on the results and hope there’s a next planting season.
Also, all the intricate wonderments of Mother Nature are, well, more wonderful. The sunsets and sunrises are more beautiful (providing you rise early enuf to see the sun rise). You recognize that dewy spider web as a magnificent work of natural art. You examine in detail a flower and sniff deeply of it’s fragrance. Spring is a little greener and fall is a cacophony of brilliance. Inhale the musty smell of a summer rain. Contemplate the stars, our Milky Way galaxy, and the vastness of the universe (and your infinitesimally small part of it). It’s humbling.
In short, you have every reason to appreciate “right now” if you find yourself lucid, mobile and relatively pain-free.
Now for number two, appreciating children, grandkids, and friends. While going hell-bent through your career choice, you enjoy thousands of pleasurable moments with family and friends, but rarely take the time to fully appreciate them.
Old age gives you the time to deeply reflect upon what you’ve created in your kids and grandkids. Your children are physically carrying one half of your genes into the future and your grandkids one-fourth and your great grandchildren one-eighth — and those genes won’t stop going forward as long as procreation occurs. That’s the wonderment of generational succession and it’s fun, in your golden years, to introspectively consider what your successive generations will add (or perhaps subtract) from the on-going development of mankind.
As for your friends, by the time you reach the slippery slope in life, you’ve already sorted out your really good friends from your general circle of friends. Since good friends are the best substitute for family, enjoy reliving your lives all of them.
Now for number three — not suffering fools lightly. All I can accomplish by discussing this subject is to make myself mad and I don’t have time for self-anger.
Suffice it to say, with every passing day I see in public and in the mass media more fools and their foolish ways and thinking and I try my best not to let them waste my time.
And number four — gaining perspective. Perspective is unique becuz age and experience only sharpen and deepen it. It helps you evaluate the present and the future more clearly by having the experiences of your life to measure it against. I think our unique perspective is why us “oldsters” so willingly speak our minds and have earned the right to do so — and don’t care much who cares what about it.
Now that I’ve bored you with more of my personal thinking than you ever wanted to know, your life’s perspective is telling me to “shut up already!” So, I will by giving you something to smile about. I recently saw a slogan on a child’s T-shirt that really put life into perspective. It read: “Don’t Grow Up! It’s a Trick!”
Speaking of tricks, give yourself a treat by enjoying Halloween this year. Ol’ Nevah and I quit masquerading some years ago, but we really enjoy seeing our costumed neighborhood kids come to the door for their treats.
Until next week, remember these words of wisdom. Four boxes keep us free: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.
I’ll get off my soap box now to give you more time for your evening nap in your easy chair. Sweet dreams and have a good ’un. ❖