Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about not only how we age, but how our brains age. In our twenties, we feared no one and nothing. In our thirties some of us got married, had kids, and our world grew smaller and more intimate. In our forties, some of us got divorced, went through a huge turmoil in life and moved on. In our fifties, we came to realize that we aren’t immortal, but some of us are still going to outlive our grandchildren through sheer willpower and meanness.
Me? I’m all turned around. I didn’t follow the norm. I had a full life and career before I married someone who I finally got along with (most of the time) and had a family. It’s not part of the evolutionary chain—believe me I know—to follow this pathway, but, hey, it worked for me.
But, now, it’s strange how my brain is reacting, even rebelling once again, at the norms. Most people my age are headed off to play in foreign lands. Most people my age are blogging and becoming foodies (okay, well, I do blog, and I do like to cook and eat out, I just have a nine year old that goes with me…..) Most people are taking care of their grandkids (where mine is their grandkids’ age). And… most people are ignoring their abilities to think.
In a conversation with a friend the other day, we brought up again how the new baby boomers (50’s now turning 60) are rocking the boat of the remnants of the WWII seniors. We think deeply and differently. We act differently. We like different books and music. And, the other seniors aren’t moving over. The older seniors are living longer… just like us. But, they simply don’t like it that we don’t fit in their world. So we say: ‘We are taking over….Bwa ha ha ha ha haaa’.
Seriously, though, what if I’m a little more impatient in the gathering crowds of young parents? What if I sound like my mother and ask them to control their kids? What if take control of my kid in front of them and stare at their little angel for causing the problem in the first place? (Those looks I get? Oh boy!) What if my kid gets along with seniors and kids alike? What if I want to put on 70’s and 80’s music in the Senior Center and rock it out! What if I don’t speak in clichés, such as ‘He doesn’t have any filters,’ instead of he is loud and funny and doesn’t give a d***n what you think? Or, ‘If so and so said it, it must be true.’ And why is that statement true? Believe me I research everything if an opinion is so outrageous that it offends and disturbs me. (Like I’ve asked people a million times: If you say it enough times, does it make it true?)
My thoughts are this: Don’t believe everything you hear. Listen to each other but it’s okay to question it and say, ‘I’ll get back to you on that.’ People are going to get mad at you because you don’t think like them. After all, you’re a 50+ body with a 20+ brain, right? Have your fifteen minutes of fame and go for it!
And on a final note: A non sequitur, but funny, comment from my father-in-law regarding vegetarianism and food obsessions:
“Quinoa: The new/old grain of the Aztecs. Yummy stuffed in the heart of a sacrificial victim!” We tried it; it was okay, made it again; ate some; didn’t feel any healthier; enough said….