A tweet reposted in a picture on Facebook, as the click bate to an article on another web site is what inspired me to write this out.
“My Daughetr just asked me why we say ‘Hang up the phone’ and now I feel 90”
There are a lot of things that happen as we age that make us feel old. For me, its hearing myself say certain phrases we used to use to make fun of the old, or in some cases, stopping me from saying those things as the feelings arise.
I enjoy growing old. Each repetion of the earth’s rotation is a cycle of life and learning. Observing. Seeing the life loops we don’t noice till we’ve seen them happen over 30+ years… or 40+ or now for me, 50+ years.
If practice make perfect, then years make us better people.
One of the things I most understand about life today, that I didn’t when I was in my 20’s – is that people in their 20’s think they understahd life just fine… and they don’t.
One of my favourite things is the excitement that comes from new things, or first time experieneces. Learning is fun, and I enjoy discovery. I have discovered that joy is almost as pleasureable when you see it in someone else’s eyes as it is in yours, because it can help you recall your memories.
Being present for anyone’s first time or first discovery is fun.
The facial expresion of realiziation is a delight to behold. It mist be one of the greatest joys of parenthood to continually get to witness that moment of realization. The instant you can see they get it. They figured something out. Even pituring it in my head without a reference, makes me smile.
The older you get, the number of things you can call “firsties” diminishes. When you’re young, the whole world is full of first time discoveries and realizations. Growing old is basically checking things of that list. It starts with ideas, words, language and then the things around you.
In life, we tend to remember a lot of our firsties.
When did he first crawl, walk, talk. These are the stories of our baby phase. Then it’s first crush, kiss, dance.
I am happy, at age 53 to still have first. Perhaps not every day, but quite frequently. I make it apart of my life to explore and learn… within reason. I’m still afraid of trying many new things. In many ways, I’m still afraid of new if I have the chance to obcess over it beforehand. I’m not really an adventurous eater, and I stay away from most phiical activities.
I like to drive to new places and see new sites, but most of all, I like to observe the way other people react to their firsts. I watch tourists with joy, and soak in their feelings as they first witness our Toronto CN Tower, or City Hall. I watch their faces light upm with the pleasures I remember from firsts. That instant of realization. The pleasure of new.
As an older man, I also see the world’s styles change, and understand a little more about how society works, and why change is an important value. The more generations I can look back on through my own history, I can see styles change and classify memories and photoraphs by their curroundings.
Hairstyles, colour palettes and fashion date the decades, so when we talk about the 50’s 60’s and 70’s we all have a similar shared memory. Even as I type those digits out here, my memory recalls imaghery of how men and women dressed during those periods.
As an older person, I understand how and why those changes occur. Each new generation of children needs ways t expres their newness from their parents. NOt so much to rebell, but because it just seems to work that kids like different things than their parents, so diferent things need to exist.
I enjoy telling the youth how things were “in my day”. My parents may have walked up hill both ways in the snow to get to school, but I have my own set of stories. I used to think, what an amazing life my grandparents must have lived, going from having no radio or TV or even phones to communicate. Nearly everything I could concieve was invented during their lifetime.
Now, as a man oevr 50, the kids today are amazed by record players, computers, and ipads. They can’t concieve of a life without that kind of contact. EVen I have trouble remembering how I grew up as a kid without being able to talk to my friends from anywhere.
I remember how neat it was to find a 78 speed record, and a player that still supported it, and kids today are asking what a CD is. Life moves fast when you look at it behind you. Teenagers are still looking at life from their present, and worrying about their future. I think it’s more fun looking back at it, and figuring things out.
Firties from understanding more than experiencing.
What I’ve been calling, the moments of realization. They can be little jolts of pleasure, sometimes in sequence.
The Oooooohhhhhh, I get it now moments when something suddenly flips that switch and you understand why, or how.
I imagine some famous firsts, like the first guy to suddely click, and get it for big firsts, such as; Oooooohhhh. The earth rotates the sun, not the other way around. Oooooohhh… so that means the earth might be… no… yes. The earth is round too.
Science and history may correct me in the order of those concepts, but who knws how many people figured that out on their own through history, and just never carved it into a stone for us to find. Millions of people invented things but only one person usually gets the naming rights or the fame. Everyone has their own first time for everything.
The first time we see, hear, smell, or touch – or think and realize something, we create a memory. We store it away with it’s own origin story. Many don’t make the cut and get retold, but each firstie is unique.
The more you accumulate, the more wisdom can come from those experiences. Practive makes perfect, and the bigger the database the more you can extrapolate. Some people travel the world and meet new culktures and speak 15 languages, and some people sit on a bench feeding pigeons, but it’s partially the number of experiences they’d discovered or realized that makes them wise.
Those who tell their stories spread that wisdom. They turn memories into stories, and teach the next generation. They create a whole new series of firsties for those who will listen.
Shared joy creates smiles and doubles.
I believe one of the most #prideworthy professions is teacher. The one who gets to pass on the stories that count. Sadly, I can see that not all teachers are good, and not everyone agrees on which stiories are the ones to share… but conceptually, the teachers are the most powerful people in our society.
“The best storyutellers win”
I am proud, to be a personal storyeller. ALthough I don’t claim the official title of teacher with credntials, I am prideful of my stiories, my blogs, my teachings and the older I get, the more practice I’ll have.
Maybe that is a win. I live on in the stories I tell, and the generations I teach. I should revise my quote.
“We all win when we tell good stories”