Perhaps you have noticed that some of the cable pundit shows have a new(ish) meme. At the end of their programs, the hosts and guests tell viewers what they learned during the show that day.
Chris Hayes, in the final minutes of his Saturday morning program on MSNBC, asks his guests, What do you know now that you didn't know last week?
Hayes's guests tend to be a bit more learned and thoughtful than those on many other shows, so there is a minimum of puffery for their own or friends' books, movies and TV shows than you get elsewhere and more insight into current events.
And that got me thinking about us old folks. So today, with apologies to Chris Hayes, here is the question:
What do you know now about getting old that you didn't know when you were 21?
This is not about what do you wish you had known when you were younger – like those jokes about if I'd known I would live this long I'd have taken better care of my teeth. No. Not that kind of knowledge.
Instead, I'm looking for self-discovered insight about aging. Or, perhaps, what has come as a surprise to you about getting old. Or a youthful misconception about age that has been corrected. Or maybe an attitude or feeling you didn't expect to have in your old age.
Normally, this is the place where I would tell you one of the things I know now about getting old. But when I've asked this question of a few people and given them an example, they said, “Yeah, me too.”
So I'm not going to let you off that easy. You're on your own: What do you know now about getting old that you didn't know when you were 21?
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Dani Ferguson Phillips: Remembering Childhood Friends