Recently, I overheard some younger people (not youth, more like – oh, early middle-age, late 30s to mid-40s or so) making plans together for a celebration they were looking forward to.
The friends were filled with enthusiasm: You'll do the decorating, right? Who wants to cook? Wait – have we decided on a menu? I'll take care of invitations. And so on.
Pulling it all together sounded like fun (I used to entertain a lot) until I recalled that those days are long behind me. I don't have the stamina nowadays, or even the breath, to do that much work.
What struck me then, however, is that as these younger people continued with their plans, how free they were from even noticing this would be the lot of work I knew it to be.
Because it would not feel like it to them.
That used to be me when I was their age. It never occurred to me then that older people would have trouble getting the preparation done, and I doubt those party planners I was overhearing thought about it either.
Because no one tells us when we are young that old age will be different. It will be harder than when we were 20 or 30 or 40 and maybe even 50.
Part of the reason, too, is that age groups in U.S. culture spend hardly any substantive time together so why would the generations know how we differ (and don't differ) from one another.
Elders' loss of strength, energy and stamina as the years pile up isn't a bad thing; it just is. Bodies wear out and perhaps youth's ignorance of old people's physical decline gives them the freedom to use their energy to full effect. Why burden them with information they don't need yet.
Or not. I'm not sure what I believe about this – it was just a passing thought that day. It's up to you now.
Yesterday, my former husband and I recorded one of our biweekly videos which, once again, centered on old-people chatter. That's because we're old.
Here is yesterday's Alex and Ronni Show.