I don’t remember spending much time as a youngster talking about the ‘days that were’. Maybe because I hadn’t had many days to recall.
As we add years to our frame (usually our frames expand as those years accumulate), we have more stories to tell, more memories to misremember, and fewer friends with whom we can bore with our history.
I’ve laughed about how ‘older’ folks talk so much about their health, and what happened to them when they were 40 or 30 or 15. I now catch myself thinking I should share the status of my stomach, or how much my legs swell, or thinning hair concerns, with people I barely know. In fact, I really like to detail all of this with complete strangers. You would be amazed how quickly people scurry off when I launch into a narrative about the brown spots on my face.
Listening to others, I surmise that the reason we talk about our past is that we may not think we have much of a future. I remember talking with a colleague who was miserable about turning 30. He felt his 20’s were the best years of his life, and he didn’t want to become an ‘adult’ and give up all the fun he had had the past 10 years. Now that he is 60, he is no doubt telling tales about those wonderful experiences he had at 22 or 25 or 28.
When I turned 40 my mother called me and said my 40’s would be the best years of my life. She called again on my 50th birthday and repeated her prediction about the next decade. She even hinted at it when we celebrated my 60th year.
She was right, each decade has been wonderful, and they have been the best and the worst years of my life. As in all of our lives, there are few roads we wander that don’t have some ruts in them. Some might say there are no ruts that aren’t connected by a few smooth spots. But, overall, I laugh more than I cry and I dance more than I crawl.
Mom won’t be around when I turn 70, so I’ve made a sign that I’ll pull out on that historic day reminding me that the next 10 years will be the best years of my life.
Now, where did I put that sign?