Getting Old


Is it getting old or becoming old?

When I turned 43 all of a sudden I realized my age. It is not as though 43 is really any older than 42. What hit me was the fact that I was over 40. I am officially entering my midlife. I am no longer amongst the youngest in the room, but amongst the oldest. The world does not belong to me, but to the generation biting at my heels.

40’s is the new 30’s – is that a new Mathematics?

The other day I was at a doctor’s office and the nurse was helping a 93 year old gentleman complete his paper work. A male nurse cracked a joke, all in good jest, about the gentleman’s age and how he would like to get to that age. The gentleman interjected:

— Getting old sucks!! In my case nothing hurts, I am healthy and get around mostly on my own; but there isn’t anybody around anymore.

So .. With 43 years, soon to be 44, under my belt, what gives?

When I was young my father kept on saying that the world belonged to the younger generations. His generation had had its chance and now the baton needed to be passed. I never fully understood it. How did the world belong to the younger generations when we did not have any say in ruling the world? He was a little older than I am now when he said that.

Now I am beginning to understand. It has to do with our potential and how we “waste” it. One day we wake up and the potential is all gone. I wake up every day and have begun to check my potential. There is a good amount left, but as opposed to earlier in my adult life, I know now that it is not infinite.

The world does belong to the younger generations. And I am still part of the “younger” generation; but soon – maybe sooner that I want – it will be time to pass the baton to my children. I see them grow and develop. I see them expand their minds and become whatever they desire. I see them correct my facts and expand in details that I have long forgotten – yet updated. I want to scream because I am so proud of them.

I think in my case it is a little of both, getting old and becoming old, but as a function of getting wiser and more intelligent. And also as a function of my children.

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