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.”

He was only three

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 then he turned 50

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.

Categories: Childhood, Getting old, Humor, Marilyn Armstrong, Photography, Work

Tags: , , , ,

17 replies

  1. He’s darling – both as a 3 year old and as an ‘old’ man of 50! You are blessed to have him close! I wrote a blog post once on things young people aren’t told (forget the actual title)…it went over some of the subject matter you’ve covered here about jobs, but it also went over a lot of other adult crap that isn’t shared with the young. Because if they were told, I don’t think many of them would want to get older… laundry, bills, responsibilities, ill health, mortgages, children of their own, and on and on. Getting old is NOT for sissies!!


    • Not for sissies. Not even for the brave and stalwart. And on top of everything else, you get older and poorer and all the hopes you had of relaxing and enjoying your time off goes out the window when you can’t figure out which you will afford this month: food or medication.


  2. I don’t know what Gen X’ers (My generation) were telling their millennial spawn growing up, but it seems like the kids today already know that growing old sucks, and having to work for a living sucks even more… and have more or less given up and adopted the ol’ YOLO attitude in place of responsibility.


    • Not all of them, but too many. I think it’s a depressed generation, not looking forward to things getting better. And we haven’t given them much to look forward to. The past is not our responsibility, but who else do they have to blame?


  3. Is that your son, in the picture, Marilyn? I agree with you 100%. I have been over my job for about 4 years and I still have a looooonnnnngggg way to go. Happy Friday.


  4. Your Owen looks so much like our David with that mass of curly blond hair. He also has that impish look in his eyes.
    Better our children find out some of these things on their own. Hopefully, they will get lucky and have many wonderful experiences.


  5. No one can tell that to their kids. Everyone finds out as they get there. This is life.


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