Old People Say The Darndest Things

Posted on | November 16, 2010 | 1 Comment

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”  -George Bernard Shaw

“Every time you say ‘Act your age!’ I hear ‘Be sad with me!’   -Sween (www.twitter.com/sween)

For a long time, I have continually had to hear people older than me bring up fun stories from when they were younger and then conclude with how “those were the days” or “I miss those days.”

Those words and the thought of growing old sounded TERRIFYING to me.  I remember being a kid and thinking that I would mature or evolve when the time is right. One day, I would say goodbye to a lot of my friends & fellow classmates and go to college—and I would be okay with it because the time is right. The same belief I thought would carry me through college and throughout the rest of my life but it in fact has not.  I am not sure I ever felt the time was truly ever “right” at the occurrence of all those events.  I have grown to accept it and understand that sudden, new changes were now a part of my reality.

The realization that time is fleeting is one that I truly understand better and on a deeper level than I ever did when I was a child.  Today’s reality soon becomes a memory of yesterday.  These days, I make a conscious effort to step back and smell the roses and appreciate each moment and value it more than I did as a child.

How is this all relevant?

If you have spent years of your life passing up opportunities or never pursuing your dreams and interests, there is a good chance you will wind up pretty bitter about it as you grow older.  The more a person does this, the more it becomes a habit.  Years and years of this behavior compounding itself takes its toll and soon a person is settled in their life of mediocrity, not really doing anything too exciting and living in a routine. Instead of remaining focused on making new memories, challenges and adventures, lots of people cling to past accomplishments like they are Al Bundy.  They talk about “the good old days” & how times were different. If you didn’t know any better you would think they were living in some magical Candyland, having fun like every day was Pee Wee’s playhouse & life was jolly and marked by an outpouring of glory.  They usually conclude with how “I miss those days” or “man what I would give to be young again.”

There are also other people who grow into a more serious “provider role” or “parenting role” or “husband/wife role” (not limited to just these) and their lives change as a result.  The reasons for a person “growing into their role” and changing who they are can be anything but I believe the key is the image of who they think they are or need to be has changed.  People start taking on more behaviors of their perception of the role and settle in it.  It winds up stripping them of who they are.  People become stiff, things become too silly for them, they feel they have made enough distinctions about the world that in 3 seconds they can tell you if something is stupid or improbable, resistant to change, etc.  They might also stop pursuing their dreams & the things that would add to their lives.  Settling into their roles has become a barrier to living freely as they desire and doing what they want.

My father and my uncle are two of my biggest inspirations in life and especially relevant on this topic.  My uncle is 75 years old and still has an amazing sense of humor.  He loves to laugh, make jokes and keep people smiling.  When my uncle is having fun, he’s like a teenager.  My uncle never let growing older or parenting/marriage roles change him and strip away his sense of humor.  He has retained that youth and will never let that go.  My father has an incredible passion for living.  If there was anyone I knew that could live forever he would never be bored, it would be him.  Over the years I have learned from him about how much there is out there to learn, explore and experience.  I can honestly say I have not been bored in years.  I no longer have a problem finding something to do; I have trouble finding the time to do everything.

I am 25 years old and maybe my perspective will change as I get older but as I grow older, I aim to be more radiant and glorious.  Maybe I will miss my youth when I am old but I am not planning on withering away & telling stories about how much better things were when I was younger—I want to be able to talk to how great life was then and how great it is now. I want to be able to speak about the next awesome thing I am up to.  I want to become even happier and love my life millions of times more intensely when I am older than I do now.

Final Thoughts

The issue we are talking about here is mindset.  I understand that growing older is not an easy thing especially with many of the physical issues that accompany it.  However, much of unhappiness in older people lies in their thought process.  You are never too old or too young to change.  If you think you are old, time is still going to pass–you can change your life and become happier or you can be old, stuck in your ways and miserable.  The choice is up to the individual.  If you are younger, you can shorten your learning curve and set yourself on a great path early.  The time is NOW.  Stop waiting for the perfect moment, wasting your time or putting things off until years down the road.  The time to take action is NOW.  Do not miss opportunities, seize them. Go out, take chances, experience new things and live.  Do the little and big things that would make this year the best year of your life.  Then next year and the upcoming years after, keep challenging yourself to make each year better than the last.  You will be accomplishing many things you enjoy and as you grow older, years and years of awesome memories to remember but you will also be inspired and seek out new fun and adventure habitually.  You will have years and years built up of being a person that does not make excuses for himself and takes what they want and deserve from this world.  This is one of my keys to happiness and keeping your mindset young.


We would love to hear your opinions & feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. Also, if you enjoy what you read, please share it with a friend.


One Response to “Old People Say The Darndest Things”

  1. Anonymous
    February 12th, 2011 @ 8:28 pm


Leave a Reply