When I was Young
Tonight I was on a Google Hangout with seven other men. We are part of a virtual men's group that has been meeting every week for over a year. Our ages range from 67 to 20, with a good spread in between. On it I was told that I am seen as a 'wise old man'. That was not meant disrespectfully but as a compliment. I saw that but I still bridled at being called old.
When I was young I had thick black hair. When I was young I was slim. When I was young I had amazing energy. When I was young sex was powerful. When I was young...
Now I am old I have short white hair. Now I am old I am considerably overweight. Now I am old I tire easily. Now I am old the sex is not so easy. Now I am old...
Each day I feel I am no different, in essence, from the previous day, but over the thousands of such days I have changed almost beyond recognition. I must age with each day. I must be different every day. I just am unable to notice the difference until it jumps up and kicks me in the ass.
Does this matter?
In a way it does because I have never been prepared for this ageing process. I have always wanted to be on top, to be King of the World, to be better than yesterday. The happened, for a time, but one day, without me realsing it started to reverse. Now I see it and now I am trying to find a way to catch up.
I know the answer is simple, the difficulty is putting it into action, accepting it and making it part of my life. I am doing it but it hurts. It feels like I have lost what I was rather than being what I was an more. Intellectually I think that latter is the truth, but emotionally...
Recently I joined a men's yoga group. We are all men in the latter stages of life, stiff and overweight. I struggle to do forward bends, in fact any kind of bend. I first started to practice yoga forty years ago and interestingly I do not remember being able to bend any better back then. I may have been slimmer with more energy but I was not more supple. Maybe not everything changes in the way I think.
One of the problems in being 'old' is that I see time running out rapidly at the same time as I see all the things I have not done in my life. It is not that I have not achieved anything or done anything. It is quite the opposite, I have had an amazingly successful and interesting life. The older I get the more I see what can be done, the more I see what is possible. The more this happens the more I have to let go and let life flow.
When I was young I thought I could change the world, now I am 'old' I see limitations all around me. The limitations are all in me—that hurts.
- What physical limitations do you experience?
- Do they annoy or upset you?
- What can you do to slow down the effects of age?