Not really sure about this getting older thing. I’m not going to say I’m old, because there is always folks who are older than I, and at least one of them will be sure to point that out. At least that’s how it seems to go.
Anyway, last month I entered my eighth decade, which surely means I’m getting older, at least by some scale of measurement.
I know that I have gotten to the point that I actually do suffer from what I call (very tongue in cheek) part-timers, when I forget things part of the time. There are many folks who tell me that they suffer from the same thing. For instance, when speaking of someone, I can see them oh so clearly in my mind, however their name seems to be on holiday on the far side of the moon or some other unreachable place. Makes for a great conversation as we try to identify them utilizing a number of various descriptive techniques, to essentially no success. And then, of course, the person’s name comes to vivid recollection long after the conversation has been completed, in the process accomplishing nothing, other than creating the occasional utterances of frustration generated verbage.
As well, there are times when my body gives the occasional indication that there are other aspects to growing older as well. Occasionally with a sharp reminder that “you can’t do that anymore”, but generally with usually subtle hints that I am not as quick, flexible, strong, sharp-eyed, handy (you get the idea), as perhaps I once was. When these hints occur, they may be met with a degree of frustration, however mostly with the realization that they “come with the territory”. I also have an arthritic hip and at some point I will be able to relate to Steve Austin when at least part of me becomes a bionic man.
Becoming older brings other aspects though, one of which is entitled “retirement”.
Now “retirement” is an interesting phase of one’s life. I am at a bit of a loss as to how to define it in real terms. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines retirement as “withdrawal from one’s position or occuaption or from active working life”. However, should you ask, say 100 people, to describe retirement, you would likely get quite a number of different responses. I know retired people who are seldom home because they travel so much, others who say they have never been so busy in their lives, still others who sit at home and do absolutely nothing. For myself, I am actually somewhere in the middle. For instance, I had never traveled outside of Canada and USA until I was 60 and went to Switzerland for a Kiwanis Convention. Now I travel to Malaysia for two to three months almost annually and scoot around Asia a bit while there. After retirement I worked as a casual guard in a RCMP cellblock for over six years, I remain active with Kiwanis in Canada and Malaysia, am active with a veterans group in Canada, and just over two years ago I took up motorcycle riding again (after 40 years). Does that mean I’m busy, busy? Not really, as I also spend quite a bit of time at home, much of that online for both volunteer and personal activities.
Getting older also means, losing people that I know, at what seems an ever increasing rate. Now, throughout my life I have lost people I have known as a result of natural causes, and usually they were quite a bit older than me. This is no longer the case, as essentially some are around my age or younger. Each occurance does tend to give me pause for thought.
Are there benefits of getting older? Of course there are. Experiences I have had, people I have met, the good I have been able to do for others, and of course, grandchildren. I would not be the person I am without getting older, making mistakes, learning from them, helping others avoid them.
Getting older is not a bad thing, it is not something I dislike, I am just not fussy about it.
And one more thing. You will note that this whole blog has been about getting older. It has not been about growing up, because I never plan to do that.