“Growing old is inevitable. Growing up is optional.”
“Age is just a number.” “You’re only as old as you feel.”
“Growing old ain’t for sissies.”
As much as we might wish it weren’t so and as much as the young think it will never come, we all grow old. At least we have hopes we will, rather than face the alternative. But I’ve also been known to say, there are worse things than dying, and… there are.
With the passing of each year we draw ever closer to getting older… getting old. I’ve often reflected on how quickly it has come along. Certainly reckless living, eating, drinking and merriment — thinking we’ll stay young for ever, that tomorrow never comes — will hasten its arrival. In looking back I wish I had taken more time to stop and smell the roses. Not that I haven’t done that on occasion, it’s only I wish I had done it more.
Don’t know if you realize it but there are actually perks to growing older, things we of the more experienced set have over the younger. Fringe benefits, icing on the cake. Here are ten of them in no particular order.
Perks of Growing Older
- Kidnappers are not very interested in you.
- No one expects you to run… anywhere.
- There is nothing left to learn the hard way.
- Things you buy now won’t wear out.
- You get into heated arguments about pension plans.
- You sing along with elevator music.
- Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.
- In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.
- Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service.
- Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.
Apple founder Steve Jobs gave an memorable commencement address six years before his untimely death at Stanford University. Speaking to those graduating students in June 2005 he said, Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.
Cleared away to make room for the new? I’ve never looked at it that way but I guess, just like those before us, we have to do our part for mankind.
Earlier this month I discovered an interesting website. By answering a few questions it will tell you the expected date of your death. Mine is Wednesday, October 26, 2044. I don’t know whether to be disappointed or elated! Surprised, definitely. 91 years old? Never guessed I’d make it that far. 12,087 days to go! But to die on a Wednesday?
Here’s an epitaph from the grave of a man no longer living, in Nova Scotia, Canada:
Here lies Ezekial Aikle
The Good Die Young
One of my boys — in response to a comment I made several years ago — that I was after all getting old, said to me: “Dad, you’re like a fun toy, you’ll never get old.” Well I can’t begin to tell you the affect that had on my spirit to have a son compare me to a fun toy. Growing old does have its perks.