A Facebook friend wrote this week, “you know you’re getting old when both your kids are home owners.” Notice he wrote “getting old.” Most folks don’t like being considered or called, old. We live in youthful America and “oldness” is not a line to be crossed unless you’re very comfortable in your own skin.
Even though greeting card companies love to poke fun at how old you are, no matter what age, the general consensus a few years ago, according to a poll question: at what age are you old, was “Fifteen years older than me.” Now AARP, in its wildly distributed magazine, has taken it a step further in its current issue.
The article is titled, “You’re old, I’m not” - A survey of how 1,800 Americans of all ages feel about issues of getting older.
For instance, about those greeting card jokes about people who are old? Turns out, a great number of older folks think it’s perfectly OK. More so than younger folks. Aging does not get in the way of “the good life”, they say.
And on the subject of, “How old is old?” And depending on accuracy, it turns out AARP’s survey finds 85 percent of us between the ages of 40 and 90 do not consider ourselves old yet. And to support my original thesis that none of us wants to be considered old, the survey cites a response from a 90-year-old woman who said a woman isn’t “old” until she hits 95.
Leon Trotsky wrote, “Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that can happen to a man.” It’s true. But the older we get, the older we want to get, and with the knowledge that we’re never too old for another dream, we can deal with it.
Let’s face it. We all want to live long. We just don’t want to be old. There’s something to be said about that and I believe George Bernard Shaw said it best. “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”