Passing Through …

A very old man, aged 93, went to the local college to enrol for night school classes. He signed up for social media classes.

The enrolment officer said, “We are delighted to have you here, but I really must ask you why, at your age, you want to take night classes.”

The old man said, “If not now, then when?”

As we Oldsters get older, there are certain topics we find best left to others. Health, longevity and even mortality itself. Why does it scare us so much? Perhaps we feel that if we talk about these things, then we will bring them on, accelerate them, perhaps. Yet we can easily, if not comfortably, talk endlessly about our financial health, or even our spiritual health, etc.

Years ago, I had a Minister at our local church, a thinker. A man who faced reality and common sense in a calm, rational and sensible manner. He would always say “We pass this way but once.” Truer words have seldom been spoken so eloquently, and yet so poignantly.

The journey has a beginning and an end.

Ergo, why do we put off doing things we have always wanted to do? Getting too old, not enough money, or just plain old “can’t be bothered”. Whatever is holding you back, is it time to re-think and face the fact that as each year passes, another year goes behind us, and we get one year closer to that end. Morbid isn’t it? True nonetheless.

Some people refer to it as their Bucket List – and here, in Olderhood we have our own version thereof. You can add to it by sending us your list if you’d like.

The point is simple.

There is no time like the present, or the near future, to be acting the way you want to act (see “Red Hat Rocks” for example), or to be doing things you’ve always fancied, or going places you’ve always wanted to visit, or just being plain silly. There are NO barriers (health and money permitting) to do what you want. I have close friends who have a tick list of places they want to visit before they get too old – good on them.

A man once told me that it is always easier to apologise, than to seek permission.

Ok, so we won’t act unlawfully or damage other people, or do something to bankrupt ourselves. Everything in moderation. I get that. But this is the time of our lives to be ourselves, and feel free at last. This is the time of our lives to leave old baggage at the train station we just left. We can’t eradicate memories I agree, but we can surely work out how to refrain from being “controlled” by them as we get older. We will probably always embrace our responsibilities and not dash off to a year in the Himalayas just ‘cos we fancied it, but there must be limitations on what we still have to contend with surely.

The fact is clear – we are doing nothing more than passing through. Let’s enjoy the back end of the journey.

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