Thoughts on getting older

If you came here today expecting wisdom or anything approaching sage advice, you’re screwed.

For one thing, I don’t think you came here for that reason because, as we were saying during the Vietnam War, you can’t trust anyone over 30. Today, our youth culture still maintains this truth, adding to it the idea that it’s completely unnecessary to know anything about what happened over 30 years ago.

oldclipartI’m amused by people half my age who explain things to me that I knew before they were born. I think my parents were amused by this when I told them stuff I learned in college. Some of what I told them they experienced first hand–like World War I and the depression.

For those of you under 30, World War I happened before World War II, though with today’s math instruction in the schools, that probably doesn’t make sense. And, the depression wasn’t the kind one tried to escape with Valium or Xanax.

Quite possibly, I have a long list of things about which I can say, “been there, done that, got the tee shirt.” Unfortunately, more and more people haven’t heard of any of those things even if they do have the tee shirts.

One of those things is walking or riding my bike to school. That doesn’t seem to be done anymore. In fact, it appears to be borderline illegal. I’m reading this novel right now in which a single mother wonders how so many parents can attend–by her calculation–some 30+ hours a week of school related activities: plays, talent shows, recitals, togetherness sessions all of which occur during working hours. If you don’t show up, the parents that do show up pity you and think you’re rearing* your children wrong. They think that, too, if they see your kid riding or walking to school.

I work at home as a quasi retired, borderline crazy writer. That means I can log on to Facebook and Twitter any time I want. When I’m there, one thought is this: what the hell are all these other people doing out here during working hours? I know, I know, since corporations and other employers are borderline criminal, it’s okay to steal time from them by texting and looking at Facebook. Or, maybe their employers think it’s okay and have hired extra staff to cover the time when the current staff is online. That sounds like something that would happen in France.

I guess it comes down to this, my thoughts on getting older probably sound like the same kinds of thoughts by parents and grandparents had when they were getting older, and that boils down to you kids have it easy, hell, my generation had to claw its 20 miles  to school on snowshoes. Most of you didn’t know my parents and grandparents, so maybe this snow information is something new.

See what I mean? You’re screwed (figuratively speaking, hopefully) for reading this post.


* One way you can tell I’m over 30 is that I say “rearing kids” instead of “raising kids.” In the old days, “raising” referred only to pets and/or pigs. And jackasses, too, I would think.


Author: Malcolm R. Campbell

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of "Sarabande," "The Sun Singer," "At Sea," "Conjure Woman's Cat," "Eulalie and Washerwoman," and "Lena."

6 thoughts on “Thoughts on getting older”

  1. The main problem that we have after getting older is that we know too much (like the correct ways of doing things). That’s not in vogue any more.

  2. Wow, you are all acting old. I tell the students where I am a teachers aide that I am the best ten year old they ever knew. Next Tuesday I’ll celebrate it again, yes I am bringing the pizza and we are going to have a fun day. Using old math I have celebrated this day 7.4 times and I will never grow up. As for not trusting anyone over 30, I found out during the Vietnam war that I couldn’t trust anyone under 30 because they didn’t deal with reality they drank the cool aid. Staying 10 allows me to see both sides for what they are…….. so enjoy life and dare to be 10……. btw crazy writers turn out good novels……

    1. It would be easier to stay 10 if my knees and ankles felt like 10. When we were in Montana several summers ago, my knees and ankles felt like 100. On the other hand, when one is 10, he can get away with a lot of stuff.

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