Old people are the best. And it’s funny that as you grow up, you see old people in different ways. and the standard of “old” changes. I remember being 12 and my nana must have almost been in her late 70’s and she was old. But she was so old that she didn’t even measure on the oldness scale. I would sit with her and listen to her stories, and she would take me to musicals and that one time she too us to see Titanic and I laughed at the wrong moment…. She didn’t take me to movies after that. (lols). And as she got older her stories slowed down, but they were still good stories. She could still command a whole room of Randalls with her stories.
My Dad was in his forties, and was still swimming most days, and was always visiting people and being involved in loads of things. His taste in music had always been foreign to me until that beautiful day i first brought home led Zeppelin on CD. From then on my Dad had the best taste in music, he would still play cricket with us, and therefore was not super old.
Teachers were old tho. I remember my 5th grade teacher. I liked her, no one else did, but she was definitely old and in her 50’s. But, for some reason, 21 year olds were also OLD!! like they were at uni, they had cars, they dressed cool, they drank red bull, they were cool. But they were old. It felt like it would be a 100 years before I was 21. They seemed so adult and so important.
Then I was 21… and i was an immature jerk. I had a car. I had a cool home. I drank red bull, but i felt even more like a child because I expected myself to be so mature by that age. Friends had started getting married. Older friends had kids. and then the former cool 21 year olds were now referring to themselves as old. But i didn’t see them as old, but my parents had suddenly gotten tired and old. 50 was the new old in my mind. 40 was a little bit old because thats when your kids are growing up and i had no kids, but 50… that was ridiculous.
Then as my parents headed for the 60 mark, and I moved into a community with an 80 year old who still travelled the world, old became something else entirely. My Dad had started riding a bike to work. My mother went on walks and had heaps of friends all over the neighbourhood. And yet I started to be called old because i was inching further towards the 30 mark. So now 30 was old, and 60 wasn’t.
But i digress.
I love old people because they aren’t spastic, they aren’t reckless, they are usually wise, solid and reasonable. Even if they are adventurous, their age brings a weight to their thought process. And sometimes by “OLD” i can also mean ‘those who have experienced things that i haven’t’. I was even talking today with my older sister about how sometimes leadership should fall to someone way younger in a group, because they have gone places the elder hasn’t. And how sometimes culturally it feels wrong to be led by someone a lot younger, but it can be better, especially if they are are older in experience.
This whole thought came to mind loudly today as I was in a meeting with some age and experience elders who spoke in such a way that they left choices up to the hearers but gave the hearer such a good and different perspective that it stopped me in my tracks. I like that combination. Freedom and shape. Here is cake, but if you eat less now, more people get to enjoy it with you later. The cake is still good now, but the sharing later will be even sweeter.
Shout out to all the older people in my life. I love you. #foreheadkiss