For a big part of my life, I didn’t think about growing old. The subject didn’t concern me or interest me. Partly, because I never thought it would happen to me. And then, suddenly, totally unexpectedly, it did come to my mind.
I know it seems incredible how one could miss on such subject. But I was so busy dealing with abstract theories and relations that I missed on the most elementary, most obvious facts of life. That is one danger or joy of living in my own head.
As soon as I noticed the subject of growing old, I hated it. I did, really. Strength, vigor, looks, … all seemed to gradually let go of me. And it didn’t matter how hard I tried to cling. I got tired faster than before. I used to travel to three countries by a combination of air, railway, and sea within a week and go to work the following day after my return. I realized now I needed to slow down, plan more, and certainly leave room for pauses and rests. I didn’t like that either. I wished I could die young. That way, I would always stayed young.
Just a while ago, I watched a film that changed my whole view. It was “All Passion Spent”, an amazing tribute to old age with superb acting. After watching that, I came to terms with growing old. More than that, I grew fond of it. I thought of it as something to look forward to. A time when my life will seem like “a landscape I can pick any point I wish and reflect”. That is what the main character in the film said: she now could reflect, could be free of all obligations, possessions, and worries. That she was wise helped of course. I see so many old people who have nothing to do; they look weary, grumpy, and tired or talk nonstop about past experiences or events that no one seems interested in. Probably there are various reasons for this, but I think planning will make a difference. And how one lives one’s life at present.
I recommend the film and the reflection. It is well worth the time in a world where we are surrounded by caveats, warnings, and pressures to accomplish the impossible: to prevent ourselves from growing old or to hide it at all costs. Why not accept it and learn to enjoy it? That is what “All Passion Spent” taught me: When can one indulge oneself if not in old age?