For a long time I have been fighting the idea of aging. I would consistently tell people that I am putting off puberty… it scared me.

But lately, I have realized some benefits of aging:

  • People tend to take older folks more seriously. The idea of age bringing experience and wisdom seems to have permeated most cultures. “Look to and respect your elders.” Yes, I know, there are some that never grow up, and can’t even spell experience, or wisdom.
  • There are learnings that we acquired that just aren’t taught to the youth of today, and we are labeled as “old school.” I find that I am good with that, since we were taught how to use what was available and get stuff done.I learned scrounging as a ham radio operator, when the vogue was to “homebrew” everything possible. I even built my own Morse code key, as well as the rest of the rig and the antennas. I didn’t have the internet. All I had was the ARRL Handbook, and antenna book. More than a few of my resources came from junk yards, since it was in the days before recycling. Try and do that with an iPhone.
  • Just because the body ages and will not remain resilient forever, doesn’t mean that the brain/mind shuts down too. One of my favorite quotes is “You live and you learn… or you don’t live long.” (Robert Heinlein). So far, I have learned enough to have kept myself alive for 65 years, raise a daughter, have multitudinous adventures, and learn, learn, learn. My friend Kirk Spencer has a quote that covers that pretty well; “I never fail… I win, or I learn.”I strive to learn one, if not many, thing(s) a day. It isn’t hard either. Just about every experience or encounter can teach you something if you look for it.
  • In my time, I have met, worked with, loved, argued with, taught, lead and followed, entertained, literally thousands of people. In all those encounters, I acquired a pretty damned good understanding of people, in general, in small groups, and individually. When I worked as a Stage Manager, I would meet a variety of folks, from crew to rich sponsors. I had about 2 seconds to figure out the best way to deal with them. Meeting a thousand new people every summer for 13 years, while running festival stages and doing the production work, I believe, qualifies me to say I had my baptism in fire, every one of those summers, and I learned.
  • I have learned and utilized the power of manners, etiquette, courtesy, respect where it is due. I did my best to pass it along to my daughter, and I have ample proof I succeeded. Of that, I am eternally thankful and proud.
  • I have learned……………………………………………………………. patience. No choice when you have done all you can do and you have to wait for someone else to get something done before you can move on, (unless you add it to your already-ten-pages-long to do list and do it yourself).
  • I have learned that I am capable of doing anything I truly set my mind to, based on experience and the following quote, again from Robert Heinlein, “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” I am not an insect, and I have proven it to myself.
  • I have learned through many relationships, and three marriages about said-same relationships. Each had its good sides and bad sides, but I learned a little more about interacting with one special person, which led me to be able to appreciate and revel in the one I have had for the last 12 years. It is hard in our society to create a true “Adult Relationship,” and I am most grateful for mine.
  • I still insist that I am not “getting old,” I am rather “aging gracefully,” and I am sticking to that story.

So there it is. Indeed, I have been around a while, and have gained an experience and knowledge base that has pretty much taught me how the world and its people really work, from the dark seamy underbelly of the world’s (they believe, I don’t) rulers, to some the most noble and altruistic people I have ever met.

I am grateful for my life, and for every person that has passed through it, and look forward to more years of the same and better.

Namaste

The Blue Wizard

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