My kid will turn 51 in May, but he still says the darnedest things.
“Why,” he asked me, “When I was a kid didn’t you tell me getting old was going to be such a bummer?”
“Because we didn’t know. We weren’t old yet. What we also didn’t tell you was that you were going to get a job and no matter how tired of it you got, you’d have to keep working until you got old. We don’t tell kids that because if we did, they’d never get out of bed in the morning.”
It’s not that sometimes you get lucky and you get a job you love. I had some high times with my career when it was great. Garry had a lot of great years when he felt he was on top of the world. But the thing is, even the great job lasts a lot longer than your best years. Even great jobs get to a point where you are tired and you really want to stop. Your job slogs on even when you are weary, worn out, not feeling well. When your back hurts, you’ve got a migraine, and realize you still have to work.
And, as my son pointed out, it’s even worse when you’re the boss because you can’t call in sick. You are the one to whom everyone else calls in sick. I pointed out that it’s even worse when not only are you the boss, but it’s your own company and you don’t give sick days.
You just can’t tell your kids this stuff. They would find it demoralizing. And they might give up before they even try to find a profession which makes them happy. Nonetheless, I wish I’d known getting old would be such a bummer. I might have been better prepared when it showed up.