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It’s mostly about being tired and sometimes a little painful. Minor creaks and groans, but nothing most people can’t handle with a few aspirin. You start going to bed at the same time you used to go out.
Also it’s somewhat melancholy to see young people you care about making the same stupid mistakes we did at their age, knowing that even if they will pretend to listen to our advice they won’t really follow it. So you watch them go from minor crisis to minor crisis while simply accepting that’s what they need to do in order to learn for themselves. Sometimes, when all else has failed, they will ask for advice and actually succeed by following it. Mostly they just want your money that they seldom pay back.
For the educated and well informed elderly the political and social world is an endless sensation of “been there done that” with little to worry over or get excited about. To the less well informed elderly, the world is turning cold and mean, and they truly believe that it used to be different when they were young. They think that because they were probably less well informed even when they were young.
If you planned well for retirement financially you’ll feel safe and confident about your future, and your retirement looks like the greatest adventure awaiting you, but you will always wish you had saved a little more. For those financial unprepared for it, old age is a terrifying concept, filled with uncertainty and dependency.
Above all else there is the health concerns. You got the thing you’re being treated for, and you got that other thing you’re being tested for. Mostly you don’t think about it any more than you did when you were twenty, but when it does creep into your mind there is just a sighful acceptance that “ain’t none of us getting out of this alive!”
Old people know that time is precious and shouldn’t be wasted. Young people mostly just strive to find new ways to waste time. By the time most young people figure it out they’re too old to make use of their new found wisdom.
BUT… every once in a while you meet a young person with premature wisdom who is focused on balancing his family, his career and their future, instead of wasting their time with games, booze or drugs, and laying around doing nothing. That one young family focused person gives you renewed hope for the world, and some little regret that you weren’t more like that in your own youth.
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