The Art of Getting Old by Bill Storie
I never did understand the difference between art and science. I remember at school we were always told that doing certain things in life required skills that most of us didn’t possess but that those of us who were gifted as they used to call it, just did stuff naturally.
My problem was that whenever someone used the word “art” I switched off, because I couldn’t draw, far less paint and I always thought that they were referring to art stuff. So, I ignored any lessons where it started with the word “art”. I guess I missed a lot.
However, as I grew up and moved through life, I slowly began to realize that there were many art forms and in most of them a paintbrush was actually not needed. It sounds silly now of course but I found out that music and dance and some sports all had varieties of art inherent in them. It became obvious that while certain things in life need knowledge and experience and skill, there are so many other life situations where common sense or au naturelle applies better.
So it got me to thinking about this getting old business and I started to wonder if perhaps some of us are working too hard at the aging process. Maybe, in fact, we’re thinking too much about it as well. Maybe we’re all striving to be too perfect.
The quest for retirement happiness is obvious. We all seek it. However, do we have to beat ourselves up about it if, some days, we don’t wander about in our happy place? Do we see that as a day lost?
Why can’t we just live our life day by day and enjoy each one in as best a way as we can, and if some days we achieve little, if anything, then so be it. If we lie in bed all day because we’re tired, or ill, or just feeling like a lazy day, so what?
I just don’t think we need to make every day the most wonderful day we’ve ever had in our life. I believe that if we let our natural behavior rule then we should be doing things that WE want to do. Obviously some days will be dictated, or influenced, by others (driving grandkids all over the place for example), but the more days we get to do what we ourselves want to do then surely that is what we must strive for in our retirement years.
In other words, I suggest we let our own conscience run our lives, and I think by doing that, we’ll find that we all, all of us, possess a high level of skills and intuitive knowledge to bring much satisfaction and happiness upon ourselves. And if that isn’t an art in and of itself then maybe I need to go back to school and take those lessons all over again. This time I’ll pay attention.
Getting old and keeping busy are not separate issues. They are intertwined.
Last week I mentioned that by the time I write this week’s article that we’d know who the next President of the United States will be. So, now we do know. Regardless of your personal politics, I hope and pray that everyone can move on and come together to help each other to build a better tomorrow. It was a hard-fought contest and unpleasant many times, but the resilience of the American public hopefully will shine through.
Winter is setting in here in Bermuda and while we don’t ever get snow we can start to feel a slight chill in the air. Mind you a mere 70 Fahrenheit at the moment, can’t be all bad.
Have a nice week and stay well.
By Bill Storie