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Weekly Wisdom 3-30-2016

Post Date: 
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

 

Last Friday, 3/25, was my birthday. It’s official. I’m getting old. I turned 58. I’ve been at CWU since I was 27 years old. That’s strikes me as sort of amazing.  Here‘s some food for thought about time and aging:

 

From The New Yorker, What is Old Age Really Like? by Ceridwen Dovey. 

Old age is perplexing to imagine in part because the definition of it is notoriously unstable. As people age, they tend to move the goalposts that mark out major life stages: a 2009 survey of American attitudes toward old age found that young adults (those between eighteen and twenty-nine) said that old age begins at sixty; middle-aged respondents said seventy; and those above the age of sixty-five put the threshold at seventy-four. We tend to feel younger as we get older: almost half the respondents aged fifty or more reported feeling at least ten years younger than their actual age, while a third of respondents aged sixty-five or more said that they felt up to nineteen years younger.  (http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/what-old-age-is-really-like)

From a blog by Susanna Conway, The (Delicious) Truth About Getting Older.

The fact is, I love being older. I love this feeling of wholeness that’s deepening with every new year. I feel rooted in who I am, and while I still get tossed around on…tidal waves, at my core I know myself. I know what I’m capable of. I know my worth. (http://www.susannahconway.com/2014/02/the-delicious-truth-about-getting-older/)

 

I found this at Slate, The Pensioner's Playlist: The 25 Greatest Songs about Aging and Mortality.

by Jody Rosen.

"Hope I die before I get old," sang 21-year-old Roger Daltrey in 1965—and 43 years later, he's still singing it. Rock 'n' roll has always been invested in a Byronic cult of blazing youth and beautiful corpses. But as tyros have turned into reunion-tour warhorses, rockers have had to come to terms with the ironies—and the indignities and the glories—of old age.  (http://www.slate.com/articles/life/geezers/2008/09/the_pensioners_playlist.html)

I know most of the songs; think it’s a shame that Willie Nelson’s Funny How Time Slips Away didn’t make the list.

Harry Chapin was one of my favorite singers in the 70s, actually continues to be. He died in a car accident on the Long Island Expressway in 1981.  He was a gifted songwriter, writing songs about life and love and time.  A couple of my favorites are Let Time Go Lightly and Cat’s in the Cradle.  Harry Chapin was a humanitarian, one of those people who cared about the earth, common folk, and relationships. Seems as though every birthday, I revisit his epitaph, taken from his song I Wonder What Would Happen to this World:

Oh, if a man tried

To take his time on Earth

And prove before he died

What one man's life could be worth

I wonder what would happen

to this world.

                                                                      I hope I can do justice to the time I have left.

 

I write Weekly Wisdom as the Executive Director of Human Resources at Central Washington University. Having an eye for meaningful things, I include my own observations and thoughts, ideas I’ve recently encountered, and/or topics that are of current importance. I like to think that others will find reading Weekly Wisdom worth their time.  
     Staci Sleigh-Layman

 

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