6/14/2006

growing up and growing old

I'm so glad you are all still here...I've been having serious withdrawals not being able to post...but I'm back and hopefully this blogger thing will stay on track.

I spent the weekend back in my hometown visiting my parents and my brother. I'd like to say that going back home isn't stressful but that's rarely the case since my parents fight over who gets to see me more...in a way I guess that should make me feel good. I was able to spend a little time with my niece which is always nice because even though she has the usual teenager attitude of knowing everything about anything, I relate to her so well. We talked about life like we often do and yet again I'm surprised at her clarity about a world filled with chaos. She asked me if growing old was as hard as growing up and although part of me wanted to shout out...who's growing old...I decided to accept my label and offer a few bits of wisdom. I had to think about it for awhile because we're taught from the time we're little that the 'growing up' part is the hardest part of life but now that I look back on my life I have to wonder if that is really true. In a way, the two things are very similar. When we grow up it's usually against our will. We fight against the inevitable task of becoming responsible for our actions. We hold on to our childish hopes and dreams until reality no longer allows it. There are parts of us that never want to be 'grown up'. If we are not grown up, people expect less from us. When we grow old it's always against our will. Growing old means we already grew up and that in itself is scary. When we admit that we're growing old, we admit that part of our life is past us - good parts, bad parts, parts we may not be ready to let go. When we're growing old we're supposed to know more things, make better choices, set good examples - sometimes that's just too much pressure. Growing old means that an end is closer than a beginning.

So when my niece asked me which was harder I had to answer that they most times they are equal but the most important thing to remember is that neither are inevitable. Not everyone grows up, not everyone gets old, but all of us die trying to accomplish both. "I wonder if I'll ever finish being grown up," she said. "Probably not," I replied. "I think if you ever finish growing up, you stop growing old."

7 Comments:

  1. Christine said...
    aahhh, so good to see it happens to others as well-- this growing old and growing up stuff

    You, my dear are growing beautifully
    Tab said...
    That sounds like a nice visit all around.I love that last line Net..
    "I think if you ever finish growing up, you stop growing old."
    You are wise and loving Aunty!
    Nice to see the lights back on in your blog..!Thanks for sharing ~
    keda said...
    and what a wonderfully wise old aunt you are!! no i didn't mean that. i meant clever youthful aunty :)
    bornfool said...
    I always joke around saying I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. (I'm 43.) In a way it's true though. I'm not finished growing yet. In the important things, I've actually just started.
    Caterpillar said...
    You're amazing, and I've so missed these posts over the past few days! This one is just so filled with bits of wisdom and interesting thoughts that I'm going to print the whole thing out for myself so I can read it again.
    kimmyk said...
    i love listening to a child and hearing what it is they think and understand.

    i hope i remain a kid at heart forever..and as i grow old i dont show my age. if i do...let it be where my clothes can hide it.
    Da Gal said...
    NWC - if you ever decide to write a book, please let me know. And if you do, please set it to a sound track. I could listen to your music and read your words for hours. Today they are bringing tears to my eyes. I think that's just because you're speaking to my heart... and sometimes there are so many walls up that most people don't get through.

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