January 31, 2007

Psychology 101

Old guy compares life in retirement to childhood. As Lucy said in Peanuts, the doctor is in. This diagnosis bears about as much credibility as Lucy’s, but her diagnosis cost a nickel as I recall, and at least this one is free.

In life, hopefully we are granted a long span of years. I am sixty-seven now (I have aged two years, now sixty-nine), and in reasonably good health, so unless some nasty disease has my name on it unbeknownst to me, I may be able to count on maybe another fifteen years or until my eighties. That is if heredity counts, as my parents both made it into their eighties. So with the fall weather approaching and melancholia blowing in the air along with the leaves, I have become philosophical about it all, life up to now that is. I have come up with this conclusion. It occurs to me that childhood up until middle teens, and old age after retirement is linked in this one marvelous way. Parallel frames of mind it seems to me existed within me fifty some years ago and now in the next century. I feel a connection with that boy’s feelings then as I do with the old guy he has become. With a waiver from argument that the childhood we are comparing is one which was not one of those, ‘when I grew up on the east side of New York’, kind of childhoods, but a normal not too traumatic regular kind that most of us were lucky enough to have been granted; and an equal length of years in retirement. As I recall, and I will presume to speak for all of us, it’s my ink; my childhood while not idyllic was certainly close enough to what I think idyllic means. My parents came out of the depression so money was not plentiful, but there must have been enough or my parents hid their distress from me very well. My frame of mind then, as best I can recall, give me a little latitude please, was one of contentment with no thoughts of having to make decisions which unbeknownst to me were lurking just around the corner. But I couldn’t see around corners and was content and happy living in the world as it was presented to me, either the real world or the world my parents made for me, either way I was happy. This parallels exactly the feelings I have had from retirement to the present day. I am content, happy, worry free, and angst free. I again refuse to look too far around that corner. I am not an idiot, I know around that corner I don’t want to look around is aging and all it’s possible horrendous possibilities. Those possibilities, or course are illness and since we not figured out anyway of dodging it, death. But being an adult and having a reasonably usable brain I have developed a faith that is my own private faith that even then I will enter another parallel existence of contentment and happiness.

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