In today’s society, we often act as our own worst critic. We have something to say about everything – the way people look or talk or smell or walk. It’s as if the whole world is a stage and we are the judges. Thanks to the glut of Reality TV, we now critique looks, talent, strength and even cooking ability.
But when an opinion is expressed about us or our behavior, we take it personally and feel the need to justify any negativity. We no longer have as thick a skin as we once did – or maybe we’re just so tired of hearing it all the time that we immediately go on the defensive.
At a certain age, people tend to believe that that, alone, allows them the freedom to express their anger or frustration because they’ve lived a long, hard life. Not so. In reality, what it does is allow us to see into our own futures and, hopefully, grant us the compassion to withhold that judgment and to acknowledge the gifts that all those years of living have bestowed!
My parents and I are getting quite proficient at living together. I wouldn’t say we’re at that ‘finishing-each-others-sentences’ stage but we are becoming rather skillful at saving both time and money.
Case in point… the three of us can go out to dinner for less than $20 and still manage to take home enough food for another meal. Here’s how:
Mom and I usually split one meal so we fill up on the salad bar and add what’s leftover to our take-home container. Then we split the entree in half – she eats like a bird, anyway, so I just fill up on the fries (or rice or baked potato) and that leaves about half the main course for home.
Dad eats pretty much everything in sight – and that includes a few helpings from the salad bar, too. But he’s definitely part of the equation because we use a ‘buy-one-get-one-half-off’ deal. So he plays an integral part in our musings.
Now here’s where the time saved comes in. Mom’s really starting to hate cooking so, with a good enough deal on the table, she’s more than willing to go out to eat for two reasons:
1. No cooking today
2. No cooking (just reheating) tomorrow.
That’s because, as I previously mentioned, Mom eats like a bird – a featherlight bird – and can get by with a yogurt or some PB crackers for dinner. Dad’s the one that’ll inevitably scarf down the take-home meal. So… Win. Win. One for all and all for one!
When we’re really young, we’re in a big hurry to grow up. Children will, early on, hold up one or two fingers to proudly declare their age when asked. Then they go through a stage where they are very definitely, “four and 3/4” or “almost 5.”
Our desire to age rather quickly makes another comeback when we approach double digits and, again, when we’re old enough to get our driver’s permit. Lastly (depending on where you live), there’s that urgent desire to be able to vote. Okay, drink… Whatever.
After that we’re not so keen on advancing in years. Some even go to great lengths to try and slow down the aging process. Every few years we’re thrown a bone when some group or another comes up with the latest: “60 is the new 40”… Yeah, right. And I’ve got a wooden bridge I’d like to sell you.
But fear not, baby boomers. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. If you live long enough, you’ll be eligible for AARP, Medicare, Social Security and senior discounts up the wazoo. So be loud and be proud. Own the age you’re at. Act the age you are. And age as gracefully as you can!