Sunday, May 20, 2012

Who we are…what we are


I just turned 73, and when I think about it, the words of my dear mother come immediately to mind.  She just turned 70 when she said, “Billy, I don’t feel seventy”.  At the time I mistakenly assumed she was referring to how she did or did not feel physically, however, as I now look back on seventy I realize what she really meant.

As a young man I assumed that as I aged physically, I would also age mentally and emotionally, seeing and responding to the world with a mind-set that was unique and characteristic of the elderly, because old people were different from young people, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally… or so I thought.  I have since learned otherwise.  Yes, the years take their toll on our bodies, and the accumulation of our experiences undoubtedly affects our attitudes and belief systems, but at our core, the essence of who and what we are remains unchanged.  We see the world through the same eyes, we receive and process the input from daily living with the same hopes and fears that have defined us for all of our years.  I don’t look the same as I did ten years ago; I have aches and pains that I’ve never had before, and I am keenly aware of the fragility of my future, but beyond that, I don’t feel like I am seventy-three.  

                                                   Then

                                     Now

1 comment:

Katherine Thomas said...

This is a great post! And very timely! Happy birthday!
I find the same idea holds true when one is retiring from their job... people think I suddenly have the outlook of an 'old' person, and they are looking at me differently. It's hard to deal with, isn't it? You want to tell them, "just wait, you'll see."