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Story listed as: True Life For Adults | Theme: Inspirational | Subject: Aging / Maturity | Published here : 03/02/2015
Notes from an Old Guy 
By Kevin Hughes
Born 1951, M, from Wilmington NC, United States
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You know gang,
I am starting to really appreciate this combination of not working, and becoming older. Once you get past the gripes and whining, well…it lets you look at life, especially your own life, in a unique way. You can see the turning points, and also why you chose the way you did. You can see where you could have done worse…and where you could have, with some effort…done better.

You get a chance, in your old age…to see how big of a role chance actually played in your life. Decisions that you were sure were good for you - at the time- turn out not to be. Other times, a chance encounter, or a left turn, or taking a class on a whim, turn out to be the decisions you did not make, but affected your life the most. You get to see how people, over time, change. Including you. You also get to see how people seem to waffle back and forth from very important to marginalized- in your life. Including yourself. Sometimes, it is all about you. Sometimes, it is all about who is with you. Sometimes, it is all about who was there when they needed you, or, you…needed them.

Sometimes, people fade, and so does whatever they did to you. It is much harder to let go from your side. What you thought they thought about every day…well, you just weren’t that important. LOL Old age lets you know that it is all small stuff. Small stuff, does not mean unimportant. As you age, a lot of your childhood comes back to you. Mostly softer moments, and a few not so soft moments, that are softly blurred by time. Like grief. You can look back at loss now, and have a bittersweet smile, and if you have grown enough, only the sweet part remains. You can laugh again. Without the stabbing pain that usually follows when you know you won’t hear that laugh again. Not in this world, anyway.

I like this time. I can see-now- why it is called a second childhood. Because, like a child, most of your concerns, and most of your day, is simply yours. No demands on you that aren’t self created. Do nothing, do something, do a little , do a lot…no one is watching. No one has expectations. Including you. LOL Remembering back to your childhood, the comparisons don’t end with just the idyllic days…the lack of concern about money, housing, or food, once you deal with them- and drop out of what you are supposed to have according to outside sources drops away. If you have a roof over your head, some pocket money, and food to eat…the rest, as my friend Eddie says:
“Mañana!” Tomorrow. Yep. And if tomorrow never comes? So what? You did what you did, and you can sit in the hammock and admire the clouds.

Oh the creative thing is still there, you do want to do something: read, write, work, garden, decorate, run, jog, swim, art, math, dance, walk, the list is endless, and individual. Some folks want something to do. Some have to much to do. Some, don’t do a doggone thing. There are some worries, mostly health and money. But they can be brushed aside, or even just added to the things in your life you can’t control, and therefore, let go. You make do with what you have, where you are now, and didn’t that work well enough to get you here? Now?

You can see phases, or patterns in others lives, especially because you have been there, done that. On occasion, you might offer some hard won advice, but mostly, you smile and listen. Knowing full well, you didn’t listen at their age either. It will be okay. In the long run, most of us spent hours and days, and even months, worrying about stuff that never happened. Lots of times, stuff did happen, and we didn’t even realize how well we coped, until years later. Some times, and these are rare moments in life, we appreciate the moment in the now. Being aware of a special moment, as it is happening- well, that is a real gift. And not given often. Because most of the time, special moments don’t seem that special, and it takes folks outside of ourselves to stand in awe of what we did, or had, or worked our way through.

Fascinating. Yep. Life is truly a mystery.
Kevin the old guy
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