By Bill Storie
I was at our local supermarket yesterday and at the check-out line this lady was speaking to the cashier. She’s forgotten something so said to the cashier, “I’m getting old”. They nodded with each other in agreement.
I interjected (I do that often these days !!) and said, “No, you’re not. You might be getting OldER, but not old”.
The lady beamed and said, “You know, you’re right. I really had never thought about it that way before.”
She danced out of the store.
My good deed for the day.?
Not really…. Just nice to have someone listen to me ;-))))
No seriously, it made me think about this getting older business. My grandkids are getting older. You are getting older. Everyone is getting older. The biological clock only runs one way. So why are we hung up about getting older.?
There seems to a stigma about being old. Fine I get that. It bothers some folks, fair enough. But why do we confuse “Being old” with “Getting older”? The two statements are poles apart.
Let me try it this way :
Are you upset by someone saying to you that you are old?
Are you upset by someone saying to you that you are getting older?
I guess that one WILL upset you, or at least trouble you and make you think about life and so forth, while the other one will be taken purely as a factual observation.
I believe that when we use the words “being old” it is slightly offensive and should be corrected. I tend to respond to idiots who say that kind of stuff to me, “Yeah and one day you’ll be old too mate”. It usually shuts them up.
I agree that as a youngster (i.e. under 60 ;-)), you never give much thought or consideration about using the word “old” – that’s about your grandpa, not you. In other words, using it is like water off a duck’s back to you. The fact that it annoys us older folks is never thought of, and usually completely ignored.
The point is that “old” really is a relative term – it can be interpreted as getting closer to the “big adios”, and most of us Oldsters, while we acknowledge that as a reality, prefer to close our eyes and get on with living our life today.
I don’t “think old” just like I never “thought young”. I can only think as I am today, regardless of what age I am, or was, or will be – if I am tired today I am tired, not old. If I am angry with something, I am angry, not old. If I’m happy today is it because I’m old or is it because I might just be happy?… Duh !!!!
I fully accept that as we age, certain parts of the body or brain slow down and our energy levels may not be as high as they used to be. But those are really physical issues or health-related. But, if we recognize that our fitness levels are lower then so be it, but for heaven’s sake DON’T THINK OLD. Just don’t.
Keep active. Keep alert. Think positive. Act mature but always, always, always, find silly stuff to do as well.
And if nothing else, by staying young in the head you will be sharp enough to cuff the next kid around the ears when he calls you old. If he’s offended, then tell him that one day he’ll understand.
Act the way Cliff said,
The young ones,
Darling we’re the young ones,
And young ones shouldn’t be afraid.
By Bill Storie