I often wonder if this old world we live in will be here 70 or so years down the line. If we haven’t destroyed ourselves by then, I wonder what it will be like. Children just born and not yet born will be the seniors then. But will senior have the same meaning as it does today?
Technology is advancing so rapidly that it is tripping over itself. Maybe, in 2075, men and women will live to be 150 or 200, and even then not be considered that old. Who knows what the future will bring? Perhaps brain transplants. Maybe body shops will be literally “body” shops. Get old, and have the old brain transplanted into some new scientifically manufactured body. A 70-, 80- or 90-year-old brain into what looks and responds like a 20-year-old body!
People might go to a body showroom - just like we do for cars today. The wealthy, of course, will be able to buy the most streamlined. They will be the beautiful ones - the handsome ones. The mid-class will be next, and then the economy class.
There will probably be used body lots where you may be able to get a real deal on a “near new” body or a body that only went to church on Sunday and then contemplated at home for the rest of the week. I guess if that ever happens, seniors will become extinct!
Canes and walkers and scooters will only be found in museums with holograms showing how we got around on them, with the audience tittering behind their hands and whispering, “How archaic?”
The future won’t have any fat people like me. I mean who in their right mind would want their brain transplanted into an overweight body? All men will probably look like Brad Pitt or Arnold Schwarzenegger; and the ladies like Jennifer Aniston or Marilyn Monroe or Sophia Loren.
I don’t know if anything like that will ever happen, but if it does, I’m glad I’m not going to be there! I like being a senior. I like my memories. I like the challenges I was faced with and the obstacles I overcame. I like the truths I learned and the mistakes I made that proved what those truths were.
I like the contentment of acceptance and the clarity of what I can change and what I cannot. I like being at peace with that.
The winter of life, I find, is a good season. Perhaps even the best season! The springtime of life from birth to 20 is a time of play-acting and experimentation and self-indulgence. The summer, from 21 to 40, is filled with more self-indulgence, but with dares, challenges, and a little make-believe. Pretending we are adults when we don’t always feel or act like adults.
From 41 to 60, the autumn, I think is a time of realization and trepidation. Youth begins to fade and energy is at a premium. Anger and disbelief reign at the first hint of wrinkles, fading eyesight or a thickening waist.
Then comes winter, when acceptance of things we cannot change becomes tolerable enough to advise our grown children not to make the same mistakes we made and then quietly wonder how we have made it alive thus far.
Some say when you become a senior, weariness becomes a way of life. Perhaps. But for me, the real weariness sets in when I think of going back and starting over in a young vibrant body, and governing it with a tired and battle-scarred old mind.
Thanks, but no thanks!
I like being able to look back and giggle at some of the mountains I have climbed to get here. And though bones are now brittle, they have stood the test of time, and I am still using them.
Indeed, I have regrets, but not enough to think I could do it better the second time around. I may not make the same mistakes, but I would find many others to take their place.
My brain may not always have both oars in the water at the same time, but it has learned to have fun and not take itself too seriously. There is safety and contentment in that.
I’ll leave tomorrow to tomorrow’s children, and gather these days of being a senior around me and appreciate them; thankful for what I have and have had. My wife just kissed me on the cheek - what a nice way to end this.
OCTOBER 2011 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER ISLAND
OCTOBER 2011 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER & LOWER MAINLAND
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