Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Embrace your age
Have you ever noticed how society, or certain individuals in our society, tend to re-phrase the way they say things in an attempt to make them more appealing or politically correct? I'm not sure who it's supposed to be helping - the speaker or the person the comment is referring to.
An example would be a short person saying they are "vertically challenged." It's not like it fools us into thinking the person is actually tall. On the politically correct/racial side, an example from Marine Corps boot camp was our drill instructors telling us "there's no black or white in the Marines. We're all green." The funny part is that we would then refer to fellow Marines as dark green or light green because sometimes the racial descriptor was beneficial in describing a certain individual.
Going off on a politically correct and/or racism rant is not my intention today. I want to rant about something completely different. Something that irritates me far more than these examples. Every time I hear someone say something like, "Happy birthday to Bob! He's 84 years young today." Seriously? When did 84 become young? Is that comment helping Bob feel less old?
When I am 84 years old, I want to own every single one of those 84 years I survived - assuming I make it that far. I am only half way there now. I will have survived 84 years of life on this floating rock and I'd be proud of it. I would embrace it!
I wouldn't want to be young again. I learned everything the hard way when I was young. I don't want to have to do that again. I'd have my hands full remembering where I left my slippers at that point.
At 84, I will be an incredibly wise man who has long since figured out the meaning of life. I don't want to go back to being a snot-nosed kid who thinks he knows everything. That was painful enough the first time around.
When I turn 84, I hope the birthday cheers are more like "happy birthday you old fart" or "surprised you made it another year." Those comments would make me much happier because I would know people are having fun and realize I'm still alive and kicking.
Telling me I'm 84 years young would make me feel like I'm so old you have to cushion the blow. That or I looked like you really were surprised I was still alive. Jabbing fun at me about how I was an old man would show me you cared about me rather than worried about me.
I know it's not the same for everyone. Some want to be young forever. I may be a shriveled up old man when I'm 84, but I'll still have the maturity of a 15 year old. You don't have to tell me I'm "young at heart"...unless of course I'm senile and forgot. That is entirely possible considering I already forget half the things my wife asks me to do. Then again, that in itself might keep me from making it to 84. Until next time...hopefully....