Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oh, how we age!

But, like the saying goes, getting old is better than the alternative.

I don't mind getting older, really, and I am very fortunate that I still have pretty good health. I have my various odd aches and pains, but I am very blessed. I generally don't have any severe back pain, I am very active and can get around pretty well. The knees are a bit stiff, but I am still able to run, walk, and work out.

Death does not scare me, but I would prefer to be as robust as possible while I am still around!

Still, it is odd to look how the progression of age changes us.
Compare these, from 1976:

And these, from 1983:

To this 2008 pic of me and my little sis!:

WHERE did all the hair go??
And what's up with the fact that my nose is growing bigger!

And not only that, but how could my daughter have gone from:


And then to this:

In only twelve years??

You know how you felt when you were sixteen...that anyone
who is over thirty is old!
Hell, I can remember when I was ten years old, I thought
the “big kids” in eighth grade were almost adults! Then,
when I entered my mid and late twenties, I felt as if I had
grown into a man. Now that I am fifty-three (as I write this,
anyway), I think of thirty year-olds as being kids!

There is a saying that the forties are the old age of
youth, and the youth of old age...and you have to reach your
forties to understand this. I really think of the fifties as
being middle aged, you realize by now that you are never going
to accomplish many of the things you dreamed about when
younger, but you also know that there is lots of time left to live.

By now you have settled into the kind of person you are. You are
comfortable with who you are, and your place in the world.
If you do not have a crime record by now, chances are you
never will have one.

Life seems to me to go in stages, I think of these stages
as “eras”, each one is twenty years. I feel this way
because by the time you reach “middle age” you understand
that twenty years is not such a long time.

I can clearly remember myself twenty years ago, and so it
is not difficult to project myself twenty years into the future.
Twenty years is a good length of time for a person to
evolve, both psychologically and physically.

When I look at pictures of myself from ten years ago, I
really don't appear all that would not be
hard to show someone a picture of me from ten years ago
and convince them it is fairly recent.

I think it takes a person a good twenty years to change
dramatically in physical appearance. I don't imagine I will
look all that different ten years from now than I look now,
but in twenty more years, I will notice a difference.

This is why it is so difficult (for me, at least) to guess
someone's age. If a person is forty, it would be easy to
place them anywhere between thirty-five and forty-five. A
few more wrinkles, maybe a little less hair, but you can't
use these physical characteristics to judge age, we all know
men who have been almost completely gray or bald by twenty-five.

Now, this may sound a bit strange, but I actually don't
mind if I start to look like I am getting older...I think
of aging as a sort of badge of is not easy to
survive in this world, and reaching a mature level is kind
of like achieving a goal.

Another thing interesting about old age is that once you get
there, you really don't have to worry about the world anymore!
Yes, you have to worry about your health and your financial
situation, but you also have to admit that those worries are
with you throughout your whole life.

If you reach the age of, say, seventy, and are still in
pretty good health, have some money, and don't have to work,
then I would say that's a pretty good deal! Who cares
about the world situation, politics, global warming, or a
population explosion? Hell, you know you will be dead in
twenty years tops, and remember how fast that goes by!

Yes, I am concerned about the evil in the world, and always
will be. The crimes that people can inflict on others truly
pain me to the heart, I cannot fathom how any human being
can do the ghastly things to other people that you know happens
every day. I hunger and thirst for justice, but I know it
will be served eventually for all (myself as well) by God.

Peace be with you.

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