Friday, June 17, 2022

Another Day (or two) Older And...

Original title: 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 grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.  

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating meltdown.  


Featuring Dana: Hallucination, guest star, and charming literary device 

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

Dear Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

I'm spending the summer in a cabin on a beautiful lake somewhere in the Swiss Alps, working on my memoirs, and trying to decide if this column will resume post-Labor Day. The market has found me wanting; I'm buying all of my own coffee. So be it, I remain an unrepentant supporter of capitalism. 

My big brother Eddie is currently my only financial patron so I'm starting to feel like Van Gogh... without the world-class talent, but with both ears. I'm also considering publishing only when the spirit moves me. Cranking out columns week after week, while enjoyable, is hard work — well, intellectually speaking — at least for me. 

{It sure ain't roofing or the like you whiney b...}

In the meantime, I'll be republishing (relatively) gently edited columns with updated statistics and fun facts in [brackets].

I've heard the cliche all my life: you're only as young as you feelThis is utter nonsense. Nobody feels old.

You may feel older than a H. sapien who's younger than you 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).

And, 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.

And, 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, unless whatever it is that constitutes you dies before your body does. 

You're still, fundamentally, you. You're still pretending to be the grownup they told you would be someday. They likely didn't tell you that you will always feel more grown-up than some, less than others, and that the game never ends until you 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, 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, this knowledge 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 this, externally speaking it may or may not change things much, but it will definitely change you.

{Okaaay... what's the other reason?}

America's having an existential crisis, a cold civil war has broken out, cold enough to freeze The Fedrl Gumit in place till at least November the third, 2020 [November the eighth, 2022].

{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. 

The Millennials are slowly coming into their own, as far as who runs things goes, and the Boomers have slowly [but not gracefully] begun to fade away. There are about as many of them as there are Boomers and coming up behind them are the 67,000,000 or so members of Generation Z who are now cranking out the next generation [Alpha?].

I'll shortly be turning 39 for the 30th time; my actuarial use-by date is only about 11 years away. My former cash flow has lost much of its velocity 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 large computer monitor that in effect is a magic window that looks out onto every feckin' thing there is or ever was. But, not having been raised surrounded by screens, even if the entire nation experiences a version of the rolling blackouts predicted for the People's Republic of California this summer 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. The Hooterville Library is within walking distance and stocked with same. There are 7 people living on the other side of my bedroom/office/library 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/publish me but you can file that under woulda, coulda, shoulda. I'm a lucky sumbitch.

{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 and I received twelve years of what used to be foundational American education before Western Civilization started taking random potshots at its feet. 

Six of my 39 certified college credits are from a comprehensive survey of Western philosophy (taught by an old-school philosopher who used the Socratic method) that were accumulated before my fellow 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. 

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

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 hit the wall before I do. 

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Feel free to comment and set me straight on Cranky's Facebook page. I post my latest columns on Saturdays, other things other days. Cranky don't tweet.


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