Saturday, March 26, 2011

Getting Old Is Fun

My mother never told me that getting old is so much fun.  Of course, she died young, so she couldn't have.  I have discovered an important thing about getting old.  I haven't really lost anything that I learned when I was younger.  I can't do a lot of things I did then.  I can't run anymore.  Spinning in circles on the lawn until I fall down and watch the world spin around me has lost its appeal, but I still remember the exhuberant feeling of it. 

I really like the developmental theories about growing up.  We talk a lot about stages.  We all laugh about the "terrible twos" and try to be supportive when the mothers of the little monsters that were such cute little babies cry on our shoulders.  But I finally learned that we don't just "go through stages."  The things we learn and the skills we acquire in the stages are still with us long after the "stage" is over.  The child that learns to build his own will and character at two is still practicing and refining that skill at seventy or more.

Growing up, like education, is life long and soul deep.  Most of the developmental psychologists give up at the "late adult" stage.  I hope that as the Baby Boomer generation has now entered the 65 year mark, more attention will be paid to the development possible in the "latter yerars."  It is sad to think that the only thing I have to look forward to is a slow demise when I see so much I want to know and learn. 

I went to the meeting of the LLL club at our church last week.  I did a miserable job of playing 84.  I have played a lot of games, but I'm not good at it.  Maybe that's something I should learn.  It doesn't feel like it.  I want to have and form and express opinions; I want to learn new ideas and see new visions.  Maybe I'm being critical, but I don't see myself playing games and sinking into senility quietly.  I want it to be an adventure, robust and sharp and intense.  "Go not gentle into that good night."

No comments: