Open Mike: Going Gentle (OT)

This post is by Ron Dawson from The Online Photographer

I saw a headline the other day that said something like, “the hardest thing about growing old for most people is accepting that they’re growing old.” Made me laugh. True for me. The strange fact about getting old is that I honestly can’t quite wrap my head around it. It doesn’t seem…right, somehow.

I don’t feel all that different from in here. But I also don’t hang out with young people, and forty-year-olds look like twenty-somethings to me (and twenty-somethings look like teenagers!), and I’ve become surprisingly prudish, and the other day my feet felt so cold so persistently that I took the bull by the horns and soaked the ol’ dogs for five minutes in a Rubbermaid tub of hot water like a sick guy in an old Norman Rockwell painting. (Big surprise:  it worked. My tootsies felt warm the whole rest of the afternoon.) That certainly isn’t something young people do!

If you make a comment about your age, most people will reply with some homily like, you’re only as old as you feel. Something that, deep down, means, “fight it.” You know, the old Dylan Thomas lines: “Do not go gentle into that good night. / Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

I don’t know about that. I think the harder fight might simply be accepting reality. “When I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer, the problem went away…acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.” Does “you’re as young as you feel” mean I’m…two? Because sometimes I feel like I need a nap. LOL.

My consolation is that I might have a good life as an old guy ahead of me! I’m in good health. And the DSM defines middle age as being from 45 to 64. And I’m 65. So that means I’m a young old guy, right? Hello? You still there? Wake up!

I’ll take it. As my bro’ Dr. Charlie says, consider the alternative.


P.S. Our Print Sale starts at 10:00 a.m. today, but remember, that’s PACIFIC TIME. So: noon in Chicago and Dallas and 1:00 p.m. in New England and Florida…and here at TOP World HQ in the heart of the old Burned-Over District. I’m excited!

Featured Comments from:

SteveW: “Thank you Mike, that was a the OT I needed today.”

Herman Krieger: “For my 96th birthday, I changed my two-wheel recumbent for a three-wheel one.”

Mike replies: Our friend Herman is TOP’s honorary official oldest reader, and has been for years! Long may you prosper, Herman.

And thanks to all of you older guys who inspire me to not worry and keep enjoying life. I really liked the comments—I think there were two—about the seventies being the best decade so far. I’m going to aim for that and work toward it. I’ve had some not-so-good decades in my life, for sure, so it’s a good time to aim to set that right.


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