Yeah. About that, too.
I had a brief, if pointed discussion with my 95-year-old mother last week. This staid, quite proper lady of the Greatest Generation told me that “it’s hell to get old.” Given all that has happened to her and my father in recent years, which I will not go into here, I could not but agree with a whole heart.Our society talks a lot about valuing and caring for our oldest generation, but, when push comes to shove, it seems little more than a waiting game for them while the rest of us trip on our merry way, only a few years behind them. Doctors show off by prolonging the game. Caregivers do their best, but it all comes to the same end. The flesh does fail. It is only a question of when.
What I fear is that too many of us, particularly those in Congress, too often forget that we of the younger generations, from my fellow Baby Boomers to the Millennials and their children are headed down the same path. It will be our turn to be passed by. We, too, will all too soon play that waiting game. And our flesh will fail. How, we should ask, should we wish to be treated? I doubt many would choose how our oldest generation lives now.
I’ve written before with some levity about my own progress in age. Such things, such aches and pains and a metabolism slower than a rock, one learns to live with, because the alternative is not living. Period. However, what is proving yet another facet of senior citizenry that I had not expected was the rejection of the working world. Cases in point: since December 2016, I’ve applied and interviewed for two more in-depth and demanding teaching jobs in line with my experience and education, only to see the positions go to a twenty- or thirty-something with less of both qualifications. No admission of preference for the young from the employers – they wouldn’t dare, as an ageism lawsuit would do no one much good. However, what else can one conclude?
Yes, it is a blow to the ego. I will also grudgingly agree that it has become a fact of life. The quasi-logical result of some of the choices I have made in life – honestly, can someone tell me exactly how DOES one build a stable career when one moves 17 times in 32 years? I am simply wondering.
Anyway, “Family comes first,” we pounded into our children’s heads all through their childhood. And now I’m the one with the headache of making that choice all 17 times.
. But, like the glorious Piaf, There’s no point.
Someone wiser than I once commented that it is never too late to become what you were meant to be (if anyone knows the true source of that thought, please let me know). With 2/3 of my life gone, I have to wonder.
I also have to hope it is so.
I HAVE to hope.
Tá súil agam i gcónaí