That Aging Moment

You know you’re getting older when…

2016-11-03-08-53-00No. It’s not a Jeff Foxworthy redneck sound-a-like comment, but think about it for a moment. You know you’re getting older when __________ (and you get to fill in the blank).

For me, like many aging folks around me, its aching joints, gray hair, reading glasses, and taste buds that now enjoy things that I never would have dreamed of in the past. Psst… Taste buds quit working good as you age and things taste more differently than you imagine … try something new! Also, double PSSST… Your smeller works differently so quit dousing yourself with enough fragrance that overwhelms everyone around you! Remember the Brylcreem commercial tag line, “A little dab’ll do you!”

Also, we either learn how to deal with how we age, or we don’t. For those who cannot deal with it, then the pathway is grim. For those who learn to go with the flow, then there is hope for learning to live “through it all”!

Separate from the physical things that change as they age, I also have a severe disconnect from much of this modern world. I’ve been around tech all my adult life so it’s not the internet or smart phones that worry me, it’s the amount of information that people so glibly share. Modern music, no matter the genre, makes little sense, but then, think about my parents back in the 60’s and 70’s as what we now call Classic Rock,  has become elevator music!

It’s really all about perspective.

Each new generation pushes the envelope, and the prior generation(s) struggles with identity. Church changes, businesses fade into the sunset, and everyone drives way too fast! I prefer Country Music of “way back when” than what passes for Country today. I still enjoy John Denver over any other balladeer, and he’s been gone 20 years next October.  And there is no one that writes sagas and novels like I enjoyed with James Michener, and he passed just 4 days after John Denver. October, 1997, was a tough year for me!

What my perspective tells me, we must keep looking through all the new junk, uh, stuff, to find something that helps us stay in touch with the modern generation, else we continue to live in the past – and that’s not healthy! I do not have to enjoy the new junk, uh, stuff, but I do have to weed through it in order to find a nugget that will satisfy. My kids are good at pointing out options that they know will pique my curiosity – Alison Krauss and Norah Jones were two recent voices that I found I enjoy.

Through the years I enjoyed Garrison Keillor. He started his radio show two days after we married, back in 1974. I did not know him then, but through the years I grew to enjoy his Prairie Home Companion. Well. Now he’s retired and a new guy has taken over. Time will tell how the new show will turn out. I’m willing to give it a try. Maybe. My son says I will enjoy Chris Thiele…

classic-cokeThere are churches that struggle with reaching out to the aging population. As the music changes, so does the stage presence. It all seems to be geared to a younger clientele. Some churches meet the needs of the aging generation differently by having “classic” services. This works on so many levels, unlike that old marketing failure of “classic” Coke… Remember that fiasco? The company tried to introduce a new formula in 1985 but the world rejected it. People started hoarding the original product! Eventually, the company reintroduced the old version and named it “Classic”… I wonder where that “new” cola is today?

How do we handle change?

I cannot blanket accept every new thing that comes along. It must be rooted in part of my reality that matters to me. It must add to my values, not take away from them. It must reinforce who I am, not undermine my foundation.

This reminds me of Jesus showing up on the scene. Much of the nation of Israel could not accept him for who he said he was, although the audience around him was small. Angels heralded his arrival. Shepard’s spread the news. Wise men traveled to his star. And a king sought to slay him. From his conception, and through his young years, he was in danger for his life. But there came a day when he arrived on the scene as a man ready to start his ministry. The religious leaders doubted and mistrusted him, and even sought to discredit him on every front.

But the people. Fickle as they can be, they accepted him because of his teachings, and miracles.

  • And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Matthew 7:28-29 NKJV)
  • Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. (John 6:2 NKJV)

Little did they know his full ministry and heritage. Most only needed his words and skills. Time will tell, and through the decades following his death, his teachings spread around the known world. What we know today was not comprehended back then by most…but give it time and it will impact the entire globe!

Oft times we are drawn to something new that we do not understand. With almost blind acceptance we trust that salesman touting a new product and we are Sold, spending money we probably do not have.

Through the years I’ve learned to be a skeptic. Prove it, I say, with a Missouri stubbornness. Show me the moolah! Does it have staying power, or is it simply a flash in the pan.

Here’s the thing about this new world that I see as I age – there is so much stuff that will not last into the next generation. Apps come and go, along with the devices that this world clamors about. Political parties rise and fall, nations will come and go, and fads will fail one by one as they are replaced with new fads. Somewhere between the pros and cons of everything around us, I find a middle road that stretches back in time to my younger years. I stay firmly on tract with those tenets learned and will process the entire world through the lenses that I wear.

That’s my perspective on how to deal with change… How about you? What’s your perspective? How do you deal with change?


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