Monday, June 26, 2017

Some old fashioned pearls of wisdom

Before I even realized it, I was old.

Not that I ever spent much time worrying about it. After all this was a work in progress.

But when all those job applications started returning with soppy messages of thanks but no thanks, a little bell went off in the back of my head.

And,  it was just a few months later when the messages of hope dried up completely, only to be replaced by a more sinister experience, that I sat up and took real notice. The emails of hope were all sliding off an imaginary cliff, never to be seen or heard of again.

Something odd was happening here, I told myself.

Never mind here was a strapping ball of energy that could bench press 120kg without raising a drop of sweat. Run 10km in just over 40 minutes and walk a treadmill slyly perched at an acute angle while carrying sixteen kilograms of lead in an ex-army adjustable weight pack. Surely, at 62 this sounds impressive.

And you should hear what shit this bloke can talk. A mercurial mind that ticks over faster than a 22-year-old. OK that might be a bit of exaggeration but still.

Fit as a fiddle and sharp as a proverbial tack. With two Masters degrees tucked away and a doctorate thrown in for good measure, decades of international experience and a shiny Qatar Airlines Gold frequent flyer membership to prove the status of worldly travel, why wouldn’t prospective employers give him a second glance?

Good question.

You are holding up the queue of talented young minds coming through, old boy. You are blocking the pipes of production.

On the scale of economics you are a burden on the wage bill. Move over and out fuddy duddy. There’s a blockage up ahead and you’re causing it. Get out of the way. That’s the general idea.

Never mind that you still have a few good years before hitting the formal retirement age. No matter that the government is moving full speed ahead to increase the age of retirement. No matter that the talented young minds coming through can benefit from your wealth of experience.

That’s all dog shit. The talented young minds have talons. When they pat your back, you can feel the scratches as it tempers the epiblast right through to the dermis. And you get the message. This is a friendly pat with a difference.

It was Jonathan Swift who so wisely reminded us that everybody wants to live forever, but nobody wants to grow old. It’s almost too long ago now to remember when I first heard this but still true to this day. Take it a step further.  Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. And nobody seems to realize that in our life's journey, no one has ever reached the finish line alive.

So why should I be surprised by this sudden onset of unwelcome knowledge? And why did I not notice it when just a few years ago I was probably also doing the scratching?

It has been a wonderful road of bumps and bruises, trial and tribulations and there’s still a hell of a fight left in this old tiger.

So, young guns sit up and take notice.  How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?

@agebarrier @agedworker @fitness @ageism @seniors @pensioner @jobsearch


  1. An interesting and entertaining, yet oh so true read. Onya Doc.

  2. So true. No one told us about this so it comes as a shock when the realisation of what it is hits you.

  3. Love your insights ... well said and yep .... ENJOY the Journey and f... the destination!!! Time and aging creeps up on us!!
    Spoken from one who has had a near death experience!!!