I have spent the past couple of months in an isolated city (I use the term 'city' quite loosely) living with my elderly mother and father, and amongst other discoveries, such as my Mum is a fiend for My Kitchen Rules and I think my Dad has a man crush on Eddie McGuire; I have identified within myself my one biggest fear. GETTING OLD. Not for the lines or the wrinkles or the bed pan I may one day need, but more so for the emotional endurance I don't think I'll ever have to be able to age gracefully. To know that my body isn't as limber and lightweight as I once knew it to be and that there is an entire generation of people, young people, just the way I was. Filled with dreams and motivation and that attitude of 'Everyone else might be right but I'm more right'. To think that I may live to be 80 years of age with the same lively and wishful soul trapped in a frail frame. It scares me to think that at the end of this vicious cycle our reward is ultimately going to be resentment.
Yes, that sounds harsh but no one plans on getting old. It apparently just happens. So what is the difference between getting older and getting old? Is it just the physical side of things? The cholesterol chaos and watchful eye on your fibre intake? Or is it more of a resignation of the dreams you've spent years chasing?
When I think about all the wonderful things I would like to do with my life: travel, learn, teach, own things, fix things, make new things; I can always find an obstacle that prevents me from doing them. It might be money (the lack of), the timing, being judged or just a sheer bout of laziness; it's never because I'm too old.
So when does that barrier make it's way on to the list of 'reasons why not'? How much time is there before it's homypeds instead of heels?
I look at my parents and I wonder if they feel content with their time as younger, healthier human beings. Or if they wish that had have realised so much sooner that all the time you think you have to make this the world you want to be in slips away, and how easily complacency can leave you incomplete.
So I have set myself this challenge: For every reason I can find not to do something that matters to me, something that I desire to accomplish; I am going to imagine the day when I still haven't corrected all that is corrupt in me, when I haven't searched high or wide enough for the things I'm looking for, when I've still a head full of ideas but a bulimic mind. I am going to take those reasons and replace them with one "I'm too old" As a reminder that there is no difference between getting older and getting old. Something tells me Ima get some things done.