Hello Friends, As I pass into my seventies—what I’m choosing to call early old age—I am surprised to learn how much I’m enjoying this part of my journey. The pressure is less, expectations are lower (especially my expectations of myself), and there seems to be more time to experience the ‘now moment,’ without looking ahead to what commitments or choices await in the next moment. I’m still new to this, but so far…very nice. I’ll keep you posted as I move along.
While I don’t at all mind growing older, I do sometimes mind not being young. There’s a difference. I think I stayed young for a very long time. I stayed current on slang, music and personalities. I moved with some grace from notebooks to computers to computer notebooks. I was, in general, up on things.
In many ways I still am. I begin every morning with the New York Times. (Yes, I’m still using the print version; some preferences haven’t changed.) I still subscribe to Entertainment Weekly, and still take time to peruse it. Yet I find that I’m approaching it very differently. I used to feel I had to be absolutely on top of all the arts, and I generally was. Now I find myself skipping over the music section entirely; it started to feel like reading a foreign language. I don’t recognize the names of any of the songs. (Do they still call them ‘songs’?) I cannot tell one artist from another, much less am I able to match them to their albums. And yet I hate to feel myself becoming one of those grumpy old men who think that everything was better back in the day.
This is still my day! But my role has changed—and for the better, I think. I don’t have to try to stay young; that’s a fool’s errand at best. My opportunity is to appreciate the young from the loving,non-judgmental perspective of the elderly. It’s quite a relief, really, not to be expending so much energy on hearing everything, and seeing everything, and being everywhere cool. I can certainly still go where I want, listen to whatever strikes my fancy. But I don’t have to.
This is especially freeing for me when it comes to technology, especially communication. I’ve decided that I’m about as far into the Age of Amazing New Marvels as I choose to go. What I’ve learned to use I appreciate greatly. But the energy required to stay on top of it all—to hear music from the very latest gadgets and formats—is best left to the young. They’re welcome to it. I watch and appreciate deeply. Occasionally I’m intrigued enough to ask for an explanation, which I may (even more occasionally) understand. But I don’t have to.
Meditation: I move through the day with a smile that often breaks into laughter. I enjoy and appreciate the world around me, and I enjoy and appreciate my own role. I AM complete in this moment. I regret nothing that brought me here, and I have no expectations moving forward. Life is rich, and I experience it richly.