I never planned on being old. I took it for granted that I would die before my 60th birthday…no, scratch that…I planned on dying at 58 because my mother died at 58 and I knew I would never live to be older than my Mother. How or why I arrived at that particular bit of wisdom I haven’t understood since I turned 59.
I turned 60 and I was convinced that I had miscalculated. What I was not convinced of is that there was the possibility of sticking around to 93 Yet here I am, seemingly living up to everyone else’s opinion that I would “out live us all.” People actually applaud my cleverness in living this long when really,, all I have done is not die.
There is a rumor that “with age comes wisdom” I believe it. Unfortunately the thing I have learned most frequently is that an awful lot of the things I congratulated myself on were wrong.
Now who wants to learn that at 93? Certainly not I.
I DO realize that I am a lot luckier than an awful lot of people. For instance I DO know that that particular sentence is really poor. It is not a number of awful people…numerous would be better or a large number would suffice…but I knew that before I hit 93 so that is a bad example.
Let’s start again.
I spent a great deal of my life using the phrase “People are no damn good,” as my mantra. I am now going to admit that I was – well – exaggerating, and the proof, unbelievably, frequently lies in the behavior of millennials.
It’s my damn cell phone. We, my cell phone and I, are not very frequently in sync.
Just recently I sold my car and began a life of Ubering or Lyfting All by itself, giving up driving is a blow to the heart…an admission that you are, if not old, at least getting there.
Then you add the cell phone. You can’t have one without the other.
My daughter was patience personified trying to teach me the ins and out of summoning a car, and after every lesson I felt sure I knew what to do. But no. Son John and his extremely patient wife, Eileen, offered to make the calls for me, but I was determined to overcome.
And I Have.
Here is a perfect example of wisdom and aging. These days when I go shopping and need to summon a car to pick me up – and for some unfathomable reason I cannot connect with my cloud, I casually but confidently, hold out the phone to any available young person and say…
“I need to call Uber. Can you do that for me?”
The young person smiles. And conjures my Uber. The young person does not ignore me, nor, shockingly, turn to stone in the process. More importantly, I do not turn to stone in the process.
Being able to ask for help is a certain sign that you are – finally – growing wise.