At some point in our lives, we all say it or think it. Many people get lost in the idea.
Times were better back when I was younger. Things were simpler then. Life was less complicated. Morals were better. People were more respectful. Children behaved better.
Each generation goes through the same scenario. The changes we experience in our lifetime are overwhelming, no doubt. From cave-dwelling to farming, steelmaking to programming, our species has constantly stumbled forward with backward glances.
While I’m back in Indiana celebrating the 99th birthday of my mom, we like to talk about the good ol’ days. When she was born in 1915 the airplane, automobile and telephone were not only new, but mostly owned by the well-to-to. Mars landers, smart phones, laser eye surgery and liver transplants are now part of her vocabulary. Yet, she still longs for the good old days.
Sitting across from her wheelchair a few days ago, I asked her a question that usually requires some reflection. Not for her…her answer was given in 2 seconds.
First, let me ask you. If you could be any age right now, what age would you choose to be?
What is your answer? What age do you want to be right now?
My mom’s answer, without hesitation, was 80. 80?
I said, “Mom, that was 1995. It wasn’t that great a year. We had the uni-bomber going strong, the Oklahoma City bombing, OJ was declared innocent and it was the very first year of the world wide web. The number one song was by Madonna, and the academy award went to Forrest Gump.
She said, “I don’t care anything about those things. When I was 80, I could go and do anything I wanted. I could drive anywhere. Your dad and I had fun every day. And all my friends were still alive.”
I think she’s right. What could be better than being 80 again?