Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Age is such a funny thing in our society. When we’re young we want nothing but to be older. We can’t wait to have facial hair, then we shave it off to look younger. We can’t wait to be adults and when we are adults we yearn for our youth. Somehow, our age never seems to be right.
Okay, maybe for about six months in our twenties.
The job market is no different. Everybody has faced entering a job market, when everybody wants experience, but how do you get experience until you do get a job? I’m on the other side. I have experience, but I lack the youth which, I suspect, is a problem. Companies want everything; the want the experience that I have, but they don’t want to pay more than for what inexperienced employees will settle.
My mother claimed she never was embarrassed by her age. I remember it clearly; she told me that on her thirteenth twenty-eighth birthday. When people ask me on my birthday how it feels to be old enough to have gotten the author’s signature on the first edition of the Bible, I always say that it beats the alternative.
I guess. I mean, I really haven’t tried the alternative.
Things change. Things will always change. We have to accept that. My sex drive may be a little lower than it was when I was thirteen, but what I lost in drive I’ve made up for in stamina. My youthful excitement has been replaced with experience. And that’s okay because I don’t have a lover anyway, so what difference could it possibly make? Of course, people don’t look for the calm and cool demeanor and creativity of an older lover, we all, men and women both, tend to look for youth. Women are a little bit better at appreciating older men than men are at appreciating older women, and frankly, that’s a loss for men. Women get SO much better with age, but men are too prideful to see that.
Personally, I think it’s time to look beyond age, for all of us. Everybody, at every age, has strengths and weaknesses. Younger people have energy and enthusiasm, while older people have experience and calm. Together this makes for an amazing combination. In fact, it’s not an instantaneous transition. In essence, we transition from what we were to where we will be, so in between the extremes we have a bit of both who we were and who we will become. Whether we are discussing corporate needs or personal desires, age is a dreadful reason to discount a person.
But what do we do now? It’s not just society that has to adapt to our age, but we have to do so ourselves. I drove a couple of hours today and feel like I can barely walk now. My back is incredibly sore. So, okay, I have to adopt. I’ll be getting a lumbar support pillow to help in future trips, including a very long one that I will be taking soon.
I have an anti-theft device on my stadium cushion. In dark ink, I’ve drawn a circle with an “X” in the middle of it with the wording “Place Hemorrhoid Here” around it. Nobody has ever stolen it. I guess people are just really kind and understanding for hemorrhoid sufferers.
My best advice, and advice that I need to learn to take myself, is to enjoy the age you’re at. When I start pining for my youth because of my back, I need to start thinking about the intellectual advances that have put me where I’m at, and when I start hoping for the future (which doesn’t happen much at my age) I need to remember what I can do today that I won’t tomorrow.
When we’re babies, all we have to do to make people happy is to have a nice poop. But as we get older, we have to do more and more to impress people; learn to crawl, learn to walk, learn to talk, learn to read, learn math…it just goes on and on and on. But eventually, it comes full circle. In our senior years, once we are advanced enough, all we have to do to make people happy is to have a nice poop.
Wouldn’t it be marvelous to be celebrated just for having a nice poop?
If you’re suddenly wondering how it is that we’ve found ourselves on this particular topic, believe me, you’re not alone. I’m wondering the same thing and I’m the author. But be happy. Accept yourself for who you are, because who you are is just the right experience, enthusiasm, energy, and stamina for who you are today, and who you are today is amazing.