Growing Up

Sunday, February 09, 2020
Yesterday I happened to be in a truck with three other guys. They range in age from 60-80 and the conversation was pretty well all over the place.

There was a general concern about the older fella and how he's aging. And there was a good conversation with the 65 year old about how he seems to be getting grumpier and that he never expected that to happen, but it seems to be coming with the age. He doesn't like that, who he's becoming, but it seems to be coming anyway.

So we talked about aging and changes in our personalities. I would have been one to say that we shape a lot about ourselves, by how we engage with life. But I've been noticing lately how life takes it's toll as well, in spite of how much we may say it doesn't. But it does.

You move through life and life treats you how it will. And its not just about how you manage what life throws at you. I mean yes, if you've been given lemons you can make lemonade, but you are still a lemonade salesman when you expected to be, I dunno, an apple cider guy. Of course the illustration breaks down, but there is something more to it all than making lemonade with what life gives you.

Life isn't equal to all. You might not get the right medical attention or afford medication when you need it. You might not get the right breaks or rest that you need, or be able to afford the kinds of food that would make you healthier.

You experience loss and grief or you face personal challenges and they will change you even in small ways that you might not be aware of. But the trajectory of a life lived with that small broken part can end up, down the road, effecting you in big ways. Maybe even changing your approach to life later on in years.

I admit some personal concern over many years of working with people. The good moments are amazing and affirming, but they often fade quicker than the traumatic and difficult moments with people. There are some griefs that I certainly process with my wife or my counsellor and especially with my God. But I am still, be it ever so subtly, changed by the interactions I encounter.

When I was young I believed that all you had to do was to process well the grief you faced or the pain you knew. I've known for a long while that its not as simple as that. That these traumatic moments effect us for a long time. But I'm starting to see that they can effect us permanently, even into our later years.

I really never wanted to be the old guy sitting on the porch yelling at the kids to get off the lawn.
Maybe the solution to that is to never have a porch.




2 comments

  1. There's probably quite a lot we could discuss here, but I am reminded of my grandfather. When I was young, he was a slightly gruff but very strong, capable man who organised parties and preached around the local countryside, gave gospel 'object lessons' and did all kinds of things with mission halls, nursing foundations etc. Later I got to know him again when he was somewhat deaf, after his second wife had died, and when he was going along to a local baptist church where nothing was ever right and he seemed constantly at odds.

    Much later I learned that he'd always been a rebel, never really happy anywhere and always ploughing his own furrow. It scares me when I see aspects of personality that I inherited - while I am a different person, I could have so easily just fit this mould, and some of the shape is there for me.

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    Replies
    1. I guess life is just way more to figure out than some thoughts on a blog. :)

      Some day I should like to have clarity about it all. What effected me the most. How my life was effected by my grandparents, parents, etc. And how it was effected by my surroundings and the things that have happened to me.

      We are pretty complex blighters I think. (again)

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