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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Dread of getting older is dread of next day on steroids

I remember as a kid (or even as an adult), if I had a big day at school, a big race to run or a big meeting/deadline to meet and I didn't feel fully prepared or ready, I wouldn't want to go to sleep the night before.  Usually, I'd be thrust into dealing the dreaded situation shortly into the next day.  It was almost as if by staying awake later I could somehow avoid the having to 'face the music'.  Now my rational side told me that I couldn't hold off the next day and what it might hold.  Fighting it--sleep--could even leave me less alert and prepared for the next day.  I'm sure a lot of people can relate to this point.

However, it occurred to me recently that to the dread of getting older kind of mirrors that dread of the next day.  Only it is a more drawn out and in some cases more draining version of it.  I think in some cases it leads to people trying to stay young (keep the next days/months/years away). As my first blog in a good while I will keep this one short.



(POSSIBLE ISSUES WHICH MAKE US) DREAD OF GETTING OLDER


  • I don't want to face health issues that are in store for me.
  • I don't want to face the more common daily aches and pains and slower recover that is in store for me.
  • I don't want to be unsuccessful/irrelevant/out of touch.
  • I don't want to face my kids having to grow up.
  • I don't want to face the inevitably of my passing.
  • I don't want the memories of my youth and the good feelings to fade into the nothingness.

HOW WE DEAL WITH DREAD OF GETTING OLDER
  • Pretend to be younger (examples)
    • Buy a sports car and power through a drive that makes us feel alive.
    • Getting involved with younger people (not always appropriately) in an attempt feel like we are still relevant, likable or desirable.
  • Try to actually be younger (examples)
    • Get plastic surgery
    • Get hair plugs
    • Work out like the devil himself is chasing us.  
    • 'Improve' your diet in an extreme way.
  • Crawl under a rock or sit down in the rocking chair awaiting inevitable aging.
  • Appreciate the joys and benefits that you enjoyed in your younger years and realize that there are positives to getting older.

I don't want to end this on a 'dreadful note'.  So, I will make a list of the possible benefits of getting older as I close it out.


POSSIBLE BENEFITS OF GETTING OLDER
  • Wisdom.  A lifetime of knowledge and experience helps us to see things more clearly and potentially make better decisions.
  • Confidence.  Having faced many experiences and trials and having had time to see things for how they are, if we allow it, we can gain a confidence in our wisdom.
  • Success in parenting.  Seeing our kids successfully mold into productive members of society.
  • Achievements.  If we work hard in our youth, we can have a number of positive achievements to look back on.

I was heard a song from ABBA the other day.   I've always thought of the song from the perspective of the young girl.  But, this time I thought of it from the narrator.  In the song, the narrator, was speaking glowingly about a young girl who was having the time of her life on the dance floor.  As you might realize, I'm talking about Dancing Queen.  Anyway, it got me to thinking about getting older and looking back on youth feeling like I was drifting far from it.  Anyway, just an aside.

Hope you liked this post.

- Rich