Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life
For which the first was made.
I don’t think William would find that many old people would agree with that but then most people have glummed on to these lines as being what the poet was trying to say. Not wanting to read the long dissertation that follows reminds me of the way Congress is trying to pass a Health Reform Bill that almost none have read.
I feel that I have just recently been introduced to the world of old people and let me tell you I was not prepared to handle it Guess I must admit to my own lack in that regard, but quite honestly it crept up on me as a big surprise. I should have known life didn’t just go on forever like it had been for many years and that someday I too should grow old, but it didn’t.
Some people grow old very gracefully, accepting the roadblocks that physical breakdowns throw at you and being content with their lives as they have become—not being able to do the things they used to do—getting used to going to funerals of all their friends instead of baptisms and weddings and fun things like that. And many lose their life partners.
Then there are the fighters that keep on doing all the things they used to do and enjoying each day that the Lord gives them to the fullest. I aspired to be one of those. I'm still trying, not that life hasn't thrown a few crappy things at me, but I am concentrating on keeping the good things going for as long as I can.
Bill Moyer had an interesting woman on his program a week or so ago . Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, a professor at Harvard , has written a book entitled THE THIRD CHAPTER which is about the 25 years after 50. She said that the most important thing for people when they grow old is to develop a passion for something and to keep alive their curiosity.
I belong to the local University’s Learning in Retirement program and there are a lot of people there who are old and interesting and interested. You can take courses in art, poetry, history, and join discussion groups about books, current events, learn to crochet even. I am taking oil painting, Thomas Hardy, Shakespeare, games (which is really a social event though advertised as a means of keeping our minds sharp.)
Also Memoirs where everyone writes and reads to the class about their youth and things that they remember and it is fascinating to hear and even more fun when you remember the same things, too. I can’t remember what else I am taking. Each class is perhaps 4 to 6 weeks, one day a week for three hours. It is a great way to keep up one's passions and interests.