GETTING OLD BEATS GETTING DEAD

10,000 Spoons? Excuse me?

Mr. Ben Huberman, what were you thinking when you posted today’s Daily Prompt? Was this a test? To see how many of us knew what you are talking about? Well, guess what? I failed.

I don’t know  Alanis Morissette from a hole in the wall. I don’t know if he is a she, or maybe a they, and what “the classic” refers to — a book, movie, or music?

A thing that happens as we age is we lose contact with, and interest, in pop culture. It starts early, as early as ones 30s when you realize you don’t like the music. By your 40s, you don’t care who knows it and drop any pretense of caring about “the latest thing.” Movies and some television may go the distance … but Alani Morissette didn’t make my cut.

In protest and because I think putting up a prompt of which more than an entire generation may well have no knowledge or interest is rude, I’m just going to link this post, which I think is pretty good, to the Daily Prompt.

If today’s prompt was an attempt to exclude me, get rid of me, it didn’t work. On the other hand, if Mr. Huberman is merely incredibly insensitive and out of touch with the people who follow these prompts, many (most?) of whom are not kids or even young … maybe it’s time to find someone else to do his job.

Because this isn’t merely incompetent. It’s bad manners.


I hear a lot of bitching about aging. While getting old ain’t fun, NOT getting old is worse.

Age brings financial limitations, aches, pains, and indigestion. On the positive side, it brings an end to commuting, doing whatever your boss tells you because you need the paycheck, and never having time for yourself. Regardless, whatever the limitations, being alive offers significant advantages over being dead which, to the best of my knowledge, is the only alternative to growing old.

I think we are most afraid of age when we aren’t old yet, but see it coming. Most of the bewailing and bewhining about getting old comes from people in their forties and fifties who are old enough and would like to just stop this aging nonsense. Can’t things just stay as they are?

Unfortunately, no. Nothing ever stays the same. As soon as you think you’ve got a handle on it, life moves on.

96-Rockers-NK

The good news is the fear of getting old is worse than being old.

When you get to whatever age you have defined as officially “old” (probably when you sign up for Social Security and Medicare), old turns out to be a continuation. It’s not something brand new. There’s no sign saying “Welcome to Old, a really BIG town.”

Many of my friends and family died younger than I am now. A lot younger. There’s damned little point in agonizing about what might happen. Worry doesn’t change anything, but sure does suck the joy out of the here and now. The worst part of all the stressing over possible future disasters is we worry about the wrong stuff. Inevitably, what actually happens isn’t what we worried about. It’s something we never expected, for which we are totally unprepared.

Someone said that in this secular age, worry has taken the place of prayer.  I don’t know whether or not prayer was ever effective at preventing bad stuff from happening, but I’m sure worry  isn’t.

In the long haul — if you’re lucky enough to have a long haul — there will be enough real problems to keep you busy. You don’t need to worry about stuff that may never happen. Figure out what to do about the crisis when and if it happens. Otherwise, enjoy what you can.

96-OldTruckHPCR

I gave up worrying. Life has been hard and I’m more than a little surprised I’m still here to write this. At some point, I decided I didn’t need an extra layer of stress. Life was already dumping on me.

I recommend living in the moment. It’s better. Try it. You’ll see.

I don’t mind getting old. I resent being sick and hate being poor. On the positive side, I’m alive to complain about it. A lot of folks I used to know cannot say the same. They can’t say anything. That’s the down side of being dead.

Getting old, with all its hazards, will always beat getting dead.

36 thoughts on “GETTING OLD BEATS GETTING DEAD

  1. Old is a relative term. If you don’t have any living relatives or friends you might be old. I look at people around me and on television that are in their mid-60s and wonder if I look that bad. I rarely point my camera toward myself so I must judge the answer by what others say. It’s like being in the hospital after a traumatic health crisis. The more platitudes people lay on you about how you’re doing the closer to the grave you really are.

    I look at getting old as an advantage, priority seating on the bus or train, people start calling you “sir”, boy scouts start offering to walk you across the street, etc, etc. I swore I was going to smack the first kid to try that. I get free drinks at Wendy’s, Taco Bell and other places that serve food that will kill you quicker. I get huge discounts on Portland’s mass transit system. That’s a big plus!

    So I guess I’d better be grateful for the little things like still being mobile. I see way too many seniors with canes, walkers and powered wheelchairs. There are ramps everywhere now. I’m glad because I could trip and fall on a beach. Yes, I am falling much more in the past 5 years, sometimes face first in the mud. So whatever life has for me in the future just bring it on because at least I’m here to experience it all.!

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  2. Oh so true! Getting dead kind of stops the worrying problem ……. unless there is more life to be dumped on us on the other side! In the moment, always the moment, even if the moment is a social security check that runs out while you still have month left and you’re poor as a church mouse! In sickness and in health, still here —- I enjoy your blog a LOT!

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  3. I love being old, and I’m pretty sure I’m older than most of you. Life is much simpler and much more peaceful. I’m also lucky that copped the tough end of the gene pool, I think – I can still body surf, walk, bend over – all that important stuff. I’m grateful every day that this end of life turned out to be so much easier than the beginning or the middle.

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    • I envy your spry mobility. I at least still get around without canes, walkers or wheels. Life IS simpler and much more peaceful. I can’t imagine how I managed to work a full time job and work for all those year. AND raise a kid. These days, a Big Day is one in which I do more than 3 things, usually grumbling about at least one of them 🙂

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  4. I think we must be related. Are you sure you was not a twin and somehow at the beginning got separated fromt the other half? My thought exactly. Ironic is that I had never heard of the song and again felt cast into an atmosphere of grey hairs, glasses that have to get more magnified every year and bones that creak until…. wait for it. I spoke to Mr. Swiss about my misery with this song that I had never heard of and asked if he knew it. He did. I say nothing more and he is 75. Perhaps women age quicker than men, or perhaps we don’t hear the music because of progressing deafness. Oh, forget it. you wrote such a good piece – and let’s just complain together.

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    • Well, MY husband can’t hear much of anything anymore and I am sure he’s never heard of 10,000 Spoons.

      I think everything depends on whether or not you listen to the music on the radio while driving the car. I never turn the radio on. I am too busy thinking about what I’m going to write and how I can pay the bills this month and anyway, music makes me forget to aim the car. I can’t remember the last time I paid any attention to current music. Out of touch doesn’t come close to my reality.

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  5. Hello, Marilyn. Have not visited with you in a while. Being busy sometimes does that to me. It’s not an excuse, I realize that. I haven’t been able to post as often either but I do get some on there every now and then.

    I do know Alanis Morisette. I like some of her songs. She’s not really of my daughter’s generation. I guess she’s somewhere closer to mine. But not really. She did do a good rendition of Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall In Love.” Does that one sound familiar?

    I have to say that I love your spunk. It speaks volumes of your enthusiasm for living. And living life as a partaker, not a spectator. Go ahead. Complain and explain. I see it as passion verbalized.

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  6. Pingback: Biting a Helping Hand | TyroCharm

  7. I’ve always loved travelling around … but I never took into account the intrusions of age. Just carrying the suitcases can be painful. I plan to travel as much as I can now because I realize there will come a day when it may not be possible.

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    • We don’t travel well or easily any more. We do travel, but less often and avoid airports. Part of it is age … but some of it is that roads are more crowded, drivers are texting, and airports are nightmares. It’s not just us!! I keep hoping it’ll get better, but it doesn’t seem to be going that way.

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  8. It seems good that I see a bit of your sense of humor here and there. I personally only consider Life as transitory, but you’ll find that with most people like me, that have had the so called “near death experience. I don’t consider death as anything more or less then birth. I’ve been there and know it’s just another place. So the whole point of Life is to choose to learn what it is that you’re here to learn. It’s growth, and everyone is individual….has their own stuff to learn or improve on.

    I’ve had much Grace in my Life, very little illness, but I’ve pushed myself to the limit and beyond. I don’t want to end up incapacitated. So, when it’s time for me to go from this place to the next, a place I already have seen….it’s fine. Some very interesting things there, too. I fly.

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    • I’ve had near death experiences … and some very other worldly experiences, but for all that, having never been to the other side, I figure we should give this life — here and now — our best shot. What will be, will be. Meanwhile, I’ve been given this life and this world. I’d be a fool to waste it. Not a minute of it.

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