How old are you….Really

Old Woman Dozing by Nicolaes Maes (1656), Oil ...

Image via Wikipedia

As I recall, people twenty and younger don’t give a whole lot of thought to age.  Unless they are younger than twenty-one.  Once that magical year comes and goes not much thought is given to age again until thirty creeps up.  From thirty onward one often hears and even sometimes say: “you’re only as old as you feel”.    Have you noticed that?

A few years ago I went to lunch with my Dad and an Aunt and Uncle.  I might not even have been fifty at the time.  Whatever, the conversation was about how old people feel, as opposed to how old the calendar says they are.  I think the conversation started when we were handed “senior” menus.  Oddly enough, the menus were actually rather new.  Doesn’t matter.  What I recall all three others saying was that they were often surprised looking in the mirror.  The wrinkles and white hair HAD to be stage make-up cause the person looking at them didn’t feel any older than eighteen!!!!  These folks had raised 17 children between them.  All the children had graduated from high school and there were even a few college graduates in the mix.  Dad was a great-grandfather.  I’ve had a sense of wonder about the aging process ever since.

The most interesting part of it was learning that people in the generation ahead of me had some of the same thoughts I did.  It just didn’t seem possible.  These weren’t just my elders, they were actual, honest to God, walking, talking human beings!  Truth, how often do you see your parents that way?  All you empty nesters out there, how often do you think of your grown progeny as the adults they are?  The mind boggles.  Both of my “babies” are over thirty and it’s amazing to me how often I need to remind myself not to refer to them as if they were still much younger.  They deserve my respect.  I can’t explain the quirk that keeps them so young in my mind.  They truly do have my respect, they make good decisions regularly.   I love the people they have become.

I also, sometimes, wonder who that old lady is…the one looking back at me from the mirror.  It doesn’t help that my hair is prematurely white/gray.  I do love the color, don’t get me wrong.  Lots of people have asked who colors my hair and I usually reply, God, this is the way it grows out of my head.  Haven’t even been remotely tempted to alter it either.  The thing is, people see white hair and think old….yup…me too.  And it’s unsettling on the days my brain says i’m only eighteen.  However, it is right on time on the days I feel one hundred and twenty.  Which usually come from believing my brain and attempting to do things, work or play, like I did when I was eighteen.  And let’s not talk about humidity!

So, what are your thoughts on age?  How old are you…really!?

 

Don’t Just Do Something…Sit There

Did I read that right? yup, you did.  And, believe it or not, sometimes it’s a really good idea.  At least, I’ve found it to be so.  Just don’t get carried away with it.

The best time to turn the old saying around this way is when I’m tempted to do something stupid and/or impulsive.  Since I first heard this it has come to my aid enough times for me to recommend it.  I’m more prone to stupid/impulsive than I care to admit.  Which is why it’s so cool to have this little reminder to put the brakes on.  Since I think it’s funny, I’m more likely to “hear” it than I otherwise would be.  Doesn’t sound like nagging.  Too new, to me at least, to be cliché.

When I hear something like this, I add it to my collection.  Not a collection out on display to gather dust.  At least, not literally.   Most of them are things that just don’t fit in every day conversation, unless you’re really fond of non sequitur.  Here are a couple of my favorites:

  • Sh__ fire and save the matches! (excellent for those occasions when you’ve heard something unbelievable )
  • Who peed on your _________? (use with care, I might be the only one who thinks this is funny)
  • circle jerk (mental image is hysterical)

I have bunches of others; can’t call them to mind without situational prompting.  What this means is I sometimes burst out laughing, at just the wrong time.  Sometimes being literal is a bitch, sometimes just plain funny.  Either way, a fact of my life.  I tend to hear things and respond to them very literally when I’m tired.  People who have met me under these circumstances have said I should be a comedian.  Unfortunately, I like to sleep a few hours every night.  Oh well.