Saturday, October 12, 2019

Two Reasons I'm Glad I'm Getting Old

Image by annayozman from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleated.
This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and approximately 39.9% of all grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering. 



Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"To me, growing old is great. It's the very best thing—considering the alternatives." -Michael Caine

Dear Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

All of my life I've been hearing the cliche, you're only as young as you feel. This is utter nonsense. Nobody feels old.

You may feel older than a chronologically younger person than yourself.

Or, you may even feel older than a person that's older than you are (who, of course, should be old enough to know better).

As I've written elsewhere, but I'm too old to remember exactly where, that feeling of superiority, perhaps even contempt, that third graders feel for first graders, never goes away. The age gaps just widen, 8 is to 6 as 30 is to 20.

While you may be feeling your body's age—particularly once the inevitable long, slow decline sets in, or you're the victim of a string of serious medical problems and it feels like your body has turned on you—in your heart of hearts, you never get old.

You're still, fundamentally, you. You're still pretending to be the grownup they told you would be someday. They didn't tell you that you will always feel more grown-up than some, less than others, and that the game never ends... well, till ya meet your end.

[Um... while I agree that the above is probably true, your garrulousness, I fail to see what it has to do with why you're glad you're old.]

Well Dana, while it's one of those many life lessons that you might grasp intellectually as you begin racking up the decades, but odds are you're not going to really know the truth of it in your very bones if, and until, you become a sexy seasoned citizen.
[Uh huh... but I still don't see why...]

It makes me happy? It's very liberating. You're not seeing the big picture, the concept applies to everything. You're never going to be done. You're never going to be secure. You're never going to wake up one day and finally know what, it, is. No matter what you've got, even if it's more than you need, you're never going to stop wondering what's missing.

And you're never going to be old.

Once you truly know and accept this, it might change everything or it might change nothing (externally speaking), but it will change you.

[Okaaay... what's the other reason?]

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America's having an existential crisis, a cold civil war has broken out, cold enough to freeze The Gummit in place till at least November the third, 2020.

[This makes you glad?]

Look, While I'm concerned with what the future holds for my grandstickies, because who knows how the war will end, there's not that much I can do about it beyond cranking out these columns. 

The Millennials are slowly coming into their own, as far as who runs things, and the Boomers have slowly begun to fade away. There's about as many of them as there are Boomers and coming up behind them are the 91,000,000 members of Generation Z, the largest generation in American history.

Having recently turned 39 for the 27th time my use-by date is only about 13 years away. I may have a fixed income but I'm reasonably confident that the two subsequent generations I share a home with will make sure I'm not rendered homeless unless we're all rendered homeless.

So, here I sit in a comfortable office chair in front of a computer monitor, that in effect, is a magic window that looks out on to, well, everfugginthing there is or ever was.

But, not having been raised surrounded by screens, even if the entire nation experiences a version of the electrical insanity going on in the People's Republic of California, I will not be traumatized.

To my right is a bookshelf stocked with several key texts in the dead trees format to keep me amused. There's a library within walking distance stocked with same. There are 6.5 people outside my bedroom door who like me (most of the time) to talk to.

I wish I had a money bin, or more generous readers, or that someone would syndicate me but you can file that under woulda, coulda, shoulda. I'm a lucky sumbitch.

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[Okay, but...]

Okay but nothin', let me finish, please. I'm slightly smarter than the a-ver-age bear, I was born only eight years after the last world war ended. I received twelve years of what used to be foundational American education just before Western Civilization started taking random potshots at its feet.

Nine of my 39 certified college credits were also accumulated before the Boomers took over and set the culture on fire.

I mention this because if you combine the above with the fact that I've been a voracious reader and a current events junkie since I was about ten years old you get an old dude with a halfway decent reality-based historical perspective, a currently unfashionable notion. 

Also, I've had, and understand the importance of, a grounding in the traditional liberal arts which are currently under attack by the armies of the woke.

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So here I sit, a well-informed spectator, watching the game. I'm hoping my team (The Fighting Enlighteneers) beats the other guys (The Squabbling Postmodernists), but as I've mentioned above there's not much I can do. I write, try to influence my dear grandstickies, hope to live long enough to meet my great-grandstickies, and enjoy the game.

And hope and pray Social Security and Medicare don't crash and burn.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Please scroll down to react, comment, or share. If my work pleases you I wouldn't be offended if you offered to buy me a coffee.  

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Your friendly neighborhood crank is not crazy about social media (I am a crank after all) but if you must, you can like me/follow me on Facebook. I post an announcement when I have a new column available as well as news articles/opinion pieces that reflect where I'm coming from or that I wish to call attention to. Cranky don't tweet. 


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