I know I write a lot about aging: the process, the good things, the problems and the fun of aging. But I am hoping I am writing for the older adults out there. None of us want to acknowledge we are aging but it is a relentless process. Instead of constantly trying to run away from it why not confront it and negotiate a settlement with old age from a position of power while you are still active and have all your marbles intact. It is rather like your insurance or your pension. You get a better deal if you start early enough in life. That has always been my philosophy and that is why the thought of aging had always been on my mind, even when I was young. It may sound morbid but think of all the civilizations who either worship the dead or have mortality in the forefront of their culture. I am of course thinking of all the civilizations other than ours. They were not being morbid but on the other hand they were being realistic and well prepared for when the inevitable comes.
Some of us may decide that it is not worth waiting for the grim reaper to stalk them, to take matters into their own hands and live life to the full and have fun while it lasts. This is a commendable idea if that is how you feel. People are all different. Most of us I think have a survival instinct and would put off extinction as long as they possibly can. Besides, I am always posting about the benefits that come with age, the wisdom, the forgiveness, the peace, the pleasure of watching your children grow up into maturity, the leisure pursuits you have always wanted to pursue, the accomplishments of things you dreamed of since childhood. It would be a pity to miss all this. We don’t get a second chance unless you believe in re-incarnation.
Recently I had to demolish my under-stairs cupboard to allow an old sofa to go out. I found in that cupboard stuff some of which was 30 years old I had not seen or touched. Among all that I found the above set of snakes my daughter had baked as a young girl. They still look vivid and strong and solid. Besides, snakes are my favourite animals after elephants. All through my early youth I had to deal with snakes in one way or another. One enormous one fell on me from the thatched rafters while I was studying. He was chasing a rat and missed his hold. I was eight years old. I think he was more surprised than I and simply limped away, creaking rather like that snake in The Jungle Book. So I am very pleased I found these snakes my daughter baked. This is what I mean by a nostalgia moment. Memories come back with super golden colours when you look back at them. This is one of the many advantages of getting old. Nostalgia is not the same when you are thirty.
Oh, and there were birthday cards from the children, very sweet, and there was a letter re-directed to their mother from a former address which contained a cheque for £10 from a bereaved widower, a relative thanking her for attending the funeral and including taxi fare from the station as the poor man could not pick her up. He too now is dead. Old uncle Fitzpatrick, he was, a beautiful soul. I don’t know if he was always like that but I met him in old age and he was someone special then, full of vitality and old world charm. See what I mean? People have time to forgive, to attain peace and to reconcile themselves to the vaguaries of life.
Yesterday I achieved another of my childhood dreams. I signed up for dancing classes. When I was young my father insisted I go to dancing lessons and teenagers resent being sent to hold hands with taffeta dressed mean little girls. I hated my dancing lessons and stopped going. But I just love dancing and all I can do is only jiggle about on the dance floor. So I thought I should take the step. People in the place said I was very brave but they were so supportive and helpful that I shall probably enjoy the experience this time around. Those teen-age girls have had life experiences and now seem to relish the company of males. Who would ever have thought? But anyhow now I have a chance to renew those teenage memories, the pinks the blacks, the rock music and that swoon making perfume above all. That nostalgia moment!
Stay together guys!