Archives For aging

Yesterday’s post featured a list compiled by Marius Auer, called “10 Awesome Things About Being a Kid“. I liked his list, and largely agreed with his assessment of the benefits of being a youngster.

However, in the interest of providing a platform for an opposing view, I will now present, having peered through the opposite end of the spectrograph, an alternate perspective. That’s just the kind of fair minded and egalitarian blog this is.

10 Awesome Things About Not Being a Kid Anymore

images$

1. While it is true that, as an adult, I am saddled with an onerous duty to pay taxes, it is ultimately because I get a paycheck. In fact, this paycheck means real cash dollars in my grubby little fist that I am free to — after taxes — spend any way I please. I don’t even need to run it past Mom or anything.

2. It is also true that as an adult, I bear the responsibility to plan, procure, and prepare meals. But, because I am in possession of real cash dollars (see point No. 1), I am completely free to plan these meals around whatever appetites or hankerings I may have. And, if I so choose, I can even skip the planning-procuring-preparing parts and head to one of a plethora of dining establishments, since — once again — I have real cash dollars at my disposal and wouldn’t need to run this decision past Mom either.

Picture993. I may not know the significant differences between an X-box and a Play Station, but I can tell you the difference between 14 and 24 carat, Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine, and Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Booyah!

4. I’m not going to propose something ignorant like, “Let’s celebrate our wrinkles!”, but neither should their appearing be devastating. A conference speaker once made the comment that she couldn’t imagine anything much worse than growing old and being afraid of losing one’s beauty. Those to whom wrinkles signify they’ve lost something unthinkable… youth, which must be preserved at all cost — will probably divert some of their real cash dollars toward nips and tucks. But such measures will never prevent aging. Embracing the notion that wrinkles are an inevitable part of the cycle of life and greeting their onset with a measure of acceptance, will bring a wonderful freedom. A freedom to anchor one’s self-worth in something much deeper and nearer our core than mere appearance. No longer able to derive personal significance from taut, ripped or otherwise gorgeous exteriors, we gain the liberty to say no to such things as impractical, bunion-causing stilletos. It’s great to be an adult.

5. Getting old isn’t as negative as our youth-worshiping culture would have us believe. With each stage of life we pass through, we have opportunity to enter new and fascinating territory. As one who has been through the college and early marriage phase with its acquisition of knowledge, slightly scary, bold firsts, and wonder; the little kids phase with its sleepless nights, runny noses, giggles, story books, and wonder; the adolescent phase with its high energy, boundless possibility, attitude and wonder; and the empty nest with its adult-to-adult conversations, budding careers, new little families, and wonder — I can attest to the reality of every phase being richer than the preceding one. Aging = adventuring.

6. I am no longer constrained to attend school: I am free to choose it. As a perpetual learner, I can now select subjects that pique my interest, study them at my pace, whenever I choose. I like that.

7. If I’m so inclined, I can learn to speak Technology As a Second Language. Or, if not, I can just invite one of the kids over to the house and ask him to reformat, install, download, upload, sync, or otherwise get our gadgets and toys set up for us. I have options. And either way works.

8. “Manual labor” *gulp* is no longer a bad word. (I know, that was two words…) Adults understand that work yields highly rewarding dividends, such as personal satisfaction and pride in accomplishment. We throw ourselves into things like planting gardens, interior remodeling projects, or restoring vintage autos. And for those manual tasks we’d rather avoid, we’re often able to hire someone to do them for us, because — once again —  we command those real cash dollars. 

Well, there you have it. Eight awesome things about no longer being a kid!atm-machine11

[Now I think I’ll go find a puddle and jump in it. Right after I stop by an ATM…]

Advertisements

Zero to Sixty in Five has been a nice vehicle for sharing my childhood memories (tales from my adolescence should roll out pretty soon). In reliving these experiences, I can vividly recall just what it was like.

Here’s a list compiled by a young fella named Marius about how great it is to be a kid. He posted it a year and a half ago on his site, M’s World, but I only stumbled across it yesterday. I totally agree: being a kid is awesome. [My commentary will follow his points.]

10 awesome things about being a kid? Easy!!!

1. You do not have to pay taxestaxes368__1271190717_8390-1

[Such a savvy one, this Marius! I didn’t have the good sense to enjoy this childhood perk while it lasted…]

2. You do not have to cook meals (unless you have chores)

[This was not on my radar either; the reality of having to come up with three squares, 365 days a year, once I left college, hit hard.]

3. You know what an “x-box” is

images[Indeed. I’m not entirely sure I could pick one out of a line-up even now…]

4. No wrinkles!!

[Marius makes a good point; but all things considered, wrinkles aren’t nearly as bad as the random whiskers that sprout on my chin these days.] 

5. You are not old

[I think people say “you’re only as old as you feel” to make themselves feel better about getting old. The kid gets it: old is just old, regardless of how you “feel”.]

6. You do not have bingo flaps

[“Bingo flaps”… could so do without these, but alas…] 

7. You do not have a flab of skin on your neck

[“Flab of skin” — another graphic description, Marius. Unfortunately, gravity will stick it to us all, eventually.]

8. No manual *gulp* labor

[Here is where young Marius and I diverge, generationally speaking. I was pressed into a fair share of manual labor as a kid. Not nearly the same volume as I would manage in adulthood, but nonetheless, my parents believed in the distribution of labor: while I did not by any means carry the brunt of the household chores, I did cook, wash dishes, wash and hang clothes on the line, iron, dust, sweep and mop floors on a routine basis. Seasonally, I could also be found helping snap beans for the freezer, skin tomatoes for canning, or strain plum puree for jelly-making. *Gulp!*]

school 47

Thomas A. Edison Elementary School #47,
the setting for many of my stories

9.You can go to school

[I liked going to school then and still enjoy being in class. Now, where’d I put that adult education catalog?…]

10.You actually like technology

[Apparently, enough of us behave alike to have given him the impression we don’t actually like technology. But it’s really more of a love/hate thing…]

Well, there you have it. Ten awesome things about being a kid.

[Thank you, Marius, for a great list! It’s time for me to go soak in some Epsom salts now…]