Thursday, May 8, 2014

Acceptance




        There is a popular fiction that we grow wise with age. I haven't found that to be true. I've known some pretty stupid older people and I don't feel any wiser now than I did twenty years ago.

My mother had a wonderful expression: 'People don't get older, they get more so'.

         Thus, age is the great distiller.  Whatever misguided outlook people may have gone though life with is only intensified with old age. Impatient people become more impatient, bigots' beliefs are only reinforced, and the saintly believe even more deeply in the good in others.

        One thing I have learned as I've grown older is that age brings freedom. We can now shake off all those expectations put on us by others and by ourselves.  Putting aside all those stories of eighty-year-olds who finally cross the stage to get their high school diplomas, most of us are relieved to step out of the race and accept where we are in life.

        Retired teachers who remained in the classroom and never yearned for a loftier position can stop asking themselves if they were guilty of a lack of ambition. Mothers who chose to stay at home with their children no longer need to wonder if their lives would have had more meaning with a paycheck.
        And now that I’m older, I can just be. A month into retirement the thought came to me that my handwriting is never going to get any better and I realized I didn't care. I don't have to run again, ever, and, in fact, onlookers should be grateful I didn't. My math skills - basically non-existent - will never improve, I'm still unable to knit a recognizable object, and I'm probably never going to be any good at Spanish. I'm fine with that.

        At this point, society is satisfied if I'm just clean, rational, and reasonably pleasant. 
That's what I call freedom. 

16 comments:

  1. Marty, you are so spot on. I explained it to my daughter as turning the responsibility over to the next generation, and I am merely a more so spot on the planet.

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    1. I like your explanation, Joanne.

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  2. I'm still working on reasonably pleasant.

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  3. Agree on this. I thought I was getting smarter for a while, but now I'm going down hill again.

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  4. You just said everything I have always felt but probably was afraid to say. In truth this me and it is just about a good as it is going to get.

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    1. Hi Barbara- good to hear from you.

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  5. I completely agree with you about old age and retirement. wW take time and reflect on what has gone on. It makes much more sense.

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  6. Thank you so much for your comment today, on my post. I'm not sure what numerical age you are speaking about, but some of your points are very good reminders. I have not retired...and, am well past the age of so-called retirement. I agree with you, I have given up on some things I will never get better at doing. I still feel like I have mountains to climb....just taking my time at doing it! This week end, I will take some time to read more of your posts.....thanks again

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  7. Marty - last October I woke up and realised I was sixty. I had intended to write a song that would be picked up by a recording artiste and would be appreciated by thousands of other people but it suddenly seemed that that would probably not happen. But I have done lots of other things since retiring from teaching as my blog shows - only I feel the time slipping away now and some of that old frustration remains.

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    1. As someone who has one novel languishing away, unpublished, with a literary agent, and a mystery I'm halfway through, I have to admit I get a little edgy about whatever time I have left. I've finally figured out what I want to do, and I'm not sure I have enough time to do it.

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    2. Oh for goodness sake you two stop moaning YP... 'only I feel the time slipping away'
      M... 'I'm not sure I have enough time to do it' What are you like? Get a grip before you actually start believing your own hype. Sixty isn't a funny age. Look forward; look back by all means but not to ponder the things you didn't do... take comfort from the things you did superbly well.

      LLX

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    3. P.S. Sorry I haven't visited you before now... for the life of me I can't think why... age probably!

      LLX

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    4. No moaning here, LL. I'm sitting fat and happy on my laurels and looking forward to earning more!

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  8. Hello Marty: I love this post, and your freedom definition! And so glad you popped over to my blog earlier so I could pop onto yours.
    Admittedly, I kind of freaked out when I turned fifty - then I thought, I probably have another 30 years or so of life in me, and boy oh boy, 30 years is a lot of time!
    Oh and my handwriting is sooo bad now; but I still take the time to write postcards and notes to friends and family, even though it takes awhile, making sure that it's legible! ;)

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