Children’s Perspectives on Ageing

An unexpected, but rather funny comment from an 11-year-old boy recently got me to thinking about how children view the older members of the community and whether they actually think about growing old. I was spending time with a family while at work and during the course of a game the mother, in her late 30’s, said she had to rest as she was getting tired. Her son instantly replied – that’s because you’re old”! Well of course at age 68 I consider the 30’s to be anything but old, so I asked what did that make me. The reply came back very quickly – ‘a fossil”! Well I burst out laughing at his response as how could I be offended by his honesty?

Not long after I remembered that ‘fossil’ had been the nickname given to my father by the teenagers in the classes he taught in his early 70’s – the word retirement wasn’t in his vocabulary – and here I was four years away from that age, being called the same thing! And I’m not retiring either!

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Pondering on Ageing

Coming close to my 69th birthday I have been pondering on ageing and my relationship to it, and at times wondering how I actually made it to this age; where has the time gone?  In fact, sometimes I look at this number and cannot relate it to the person I am. But one thing is for sure, I am not going to allow myself to be defined by a number, which is actually 69 cycles around the sun and not the straight line we have been led to believe it is.

I can remember my mother saying to me many years ago, when she was in her 80’s, that inside she didn’t feel any different than she always had, but that so much had changed on the outside, and that I can now relate to; the wrinkles, the sags, the ‘age’ spots and so on. And of course, there is the slowing down of the physical body and the aches and pains that can come with this.

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My Inspiration

There have been many who have inspired me over the years, but I need to go way back in my life to the very first inspiration, and that is my father.

This lovely man was 45 when I was born. He always seemed so very old to me when I looked at him on the outside, but on looking within all I ever used to see was one very alive, and young man, who never stopped living life to the fullest, and who never had the word retirement in his vocabulary.

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