Hmm. The old git just got even older. Seventy-four on 26th June. That’s something I find very hard to comprehend.
Both of my parents died in their fifties, so I have no experience of growing up with ageing close relatives. Maybe that’s why I never really expected to get into my seventies, let alone be faced with the daunting prospect of perhaps having to contend with life at eighty in the not so distant future.
But, don’t get me wrong. I love life and I love my present life. I’m sure there’s a quote (maybe by George Burns) about ‘getting older sure beats the alternative.’ I vote for that philosophy. I’m just not sure my body is going to make it easy for me to enjoy old age.
For me there are many plusses about getting old, but sadly there are quite a few minuses as well.
On the plus side:
1. I no longer have to do a job I may not like in order to get money to pay for things I do like/want/need.
2. I no longer have to pretend to like or agree with some people in order to protect my job or keep the peace.
3. I have plenty of free time to enjoy things I love to do and discover new things, such as writing short stories and my novels.
4. I get a free bus pass.
5. I don’t have to pay for prescriptions.
6. I don’t have arguments with my wife about how to bring up the children.
7. I don’t have to act as a taxi service for the children.
8. I no longer have to be responsible for my children’s safety or moral upbringing.
9. I get to enjoy the company of my grandchildren and the ladies in their lives.
10. I have access to technology and equipment I could never have dreamed of in my youth.
On the minus side:
1. I no longer have earned income to pay for things I like/want/need.
2. As each month goes by there’s more chance that friends/relatives won’t be around anymore.
3. I no longer have the chance to enjoy the company of my children for they are parents themselves now.
4. My body is making it harder for me to do the things I used to want to do when I was younger but never had the time. Now I have the time, but aches and pains, wear and tear, and an ever worsening memory mean my ability to do those things is much less than I would like.
5. I have learned/experienced more over the years than I could ever have imagined when I was young. But I have forgotten much of what I learned and experienced, so what was the point – other than enjoying the moment?
6. Much of the technology/software etc that is available I can’t understand or remember.
7. I need to find ways to keep my memory sharp, to fend off dementia.
8. I’m supposed to keep fit but my body isn’t cooperating with that idea.
9. I spend more time visiting doctors, hospitals, physios etc than I have time to spare.
10. Having discovered writing late in life I wish I had discovered it years ago.
Here’s to the next ten years and the ability to enjoy them.