Face it, we are getting older.
Our eyesight isn’t what it was. What’s that you say?
Our backs hurt. Our hands hurt. Our feet hurt.
We are not as strong nor agile as we once were.
We forget things. We lose things. We drop things.
We fall down.
Our “naughty bits” don’t work like they used to.
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Do you ever get tired of the world telling you how broken down and dysfunctional you have become in your advancing years?
You need suspenders to hold up your pants. You need ergonomic gloves to help you golf and garden, shoe stabilizers so you don’t fall down, hi-tech reminders to take our medications, false teeth, hearing aids, incontinence briefs in case we dribble, penis pumps and little blue pills to make our lives easier and more fulfilling.
You know what? We are what we are!
If you are smart, you except your shortcomings, find a way to overcome them and move on with living your life to the fullest.
I’ve always said “There is no room for humility in getting older.”
Humility does not come easily for most baby boomers. It rubs against our grain.
Growing old and dying seems like a violation of our birthright. If you are like me, you believe that perseverance is the key to success in life.
Life will only reward you if you fight hard enough and long enough.
Well, let me tell you……I’m not going down easily!
I’m going down kicking and scratching and clawing for every last second that life will afford me.
I think Ted Nugent summed it up pretty well in his song “Stranglehold.”
“Sometimes you wanna get higher
And sometimes you gotta start low
Some people think they gonna die someday
I got news, ya never got to go”
Unfortunately, there is not a baby boomer among us that can claim they have enough determination, passion, and intensity to indefinitely postpone their ultimate demise. I have yet to run across anyone who is even remotely eternal.
But, what I have found is most people (especially boomers) really embrace the fact that we are an incredibly unique and special form of life. We have some purpose. Maybe even a greater purpose.
And because of this we should accept our physical shortcomings with pride.
So what if you tinkle in your drawers every time you sneeze. So what if you can’t remember my name 30 seconds after we talked. So what if you drive a little slower because things look like they are moving too fast.
You can do some amazing things and you already have. You have probably already built and raised an amazing legacy for yourself through your family. You have probably built an impressive career where you gave something useful to the rest of the world. Maybe you have brought something beautiful or creative to the world through your artistic talents.
We all have done something worthy of praise and recognition. But you know what? We didn’t do it alone.
Sure, old age and death disrespectfully reduces us all to the same common denominator.
As we rack up more baby boomer years and we begin to lose our hair, our sexual prowess, our strength and stamina we need to understand that we are all in the same boat.
Our minds get fuzzier right along with the insides of our noses and ears and we may not even realize it.
We will eventually have to accept the need for all of those embarrassing yet necessary health and mobility aids and tools we see on TV.
But, most importantly, we will eventually have to realize and accept that we will need the assistance, support and service of others to get by.
As we advance in our Baby Boomer years we will need the help of others even more.
Humility, by definition, is recognizing the limits of your talents, capabilities and authority.
It is the understanding that we are but tiny parts of a much bigger machine. It is a tough thing to admit to ourselves.
We have to begin now to learn how to accept the inevitable.
Without humility, the backside of our baby boomer years will be an unbalanced and anxious struggle against our own pride.
Don’t be afraid to open yourself up to new relationships and friendships knowing, up front, that we all need each other and that we are all on this ride together.
Respectfully accept a helping hand. And if you can, please offer one as often as you can.