Sometimes the news about “studies” doesn’t sit well. There’s always some “study” that now disproves what the last three “studies” proved. What’s a fellow to believe? The latest news on mental attitude from a twenty year German “study” is strange. Supposedly, people who think about life with a pessimistic attitude live healthier and longer.
Optimistic folks get sicker and die younger….jeez. Somebody, anybody, teach me how to be grumpier because I’m one of the happiest, most optimistic guys on the planet. When I do get sick I will face my problems with a smile on my face…guarantee.
Sometimes I do think about things I SHOULD HAVE DONE in my past. Simple things. Things that would have made a difference in my quality of life. Like, back in ’79, I should have bought some shares of Berkshire Hathaway the day it was offered. It seemed expensive at $175 each. Maybe I should have just bought 10 shares. My total investment would have been $1750.. I notice today the stock was going for $155,210.00 each. My total value of my 10 shares would now be One Million Five Hundred Fifty Thousand bucks…damn.
But if I’m looking back in time, I should go back another decade, that great year of 1969. I could have beat Richard Burton to that pear-shaped pearl that went for $37,000.00. Instead of building my new house that year, I should have bought the pear. It was a pretty cool pearl, though expensive. It had been found in the early 1500’s off the coast of Panama and it became part of the crown jewels of Spain. Prince Phillip II gave it as a wedding gift to his wife, Mary Tudor of England. Richard Burton beat me to it in 1969. He gave it to Liz and she had it mounted on a necklace of pearls and rubies. That little investment of $37 thousand just sold for $11 Million…damn.
But back to the optimistic vs. pessimistic attitudes as we age. One of the best answers to a question about aging has been floating around on the internet for a few months. My good buddy, George, sent it to me today and it was an immediate bond with my own attitude about aging. Let me pass it on to you:
A senior citizen was asked what it was like to be old. Here was his answer.
As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to, and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging. Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play on the computer, until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50s, 60s & 70s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will. I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old. I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, eventually, I remember the important things. Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect. I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore. I’ve even earned the right to be wrong. So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).