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I write novels for teens and adults. Visit me here & on my website http://www.jenniferarcher.net

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Secret of Staying Young

"The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age." -Lucille Ball

Who is this man?

A) The German Ambassador to the United States ?
B) A Spokane, Washington serial killer?
C) The guy who opened the Republican National Convention?
D) The CEO of Haliburton?


He is...

If you're too young to know who the Monkeys are, I don't want to hear about it. Wow, I would not have guessed that was M.N. in a million years. People change in a lot of ways as they age--and not just our appearance. Some of the changes are for the good, some aren't, and some depend on your point of view. A woman I know just slightly older than I am recently said to me: "What happened to my generation? When I was in college we were all about revolution! About equality and peace and celebrating difference and making the world a better place for everyone. Shame on us for going along with the status quo as we got older! Too many of my generation now supports the issues we used to despise. We've become the old people we couldn't stand!"

When I look at myself and the people with whom I grew up, I see a mix of changes. Here are only a few: wisdom, maturity, growth, laziness, disillusionment, loss of energy, a new outlook, a refusal to move on, staleness, freshness, stubbornness, a more open mind, the courage to speak up, the insight of when to shut up, the lack of insight about when to shut up, self-righteousness, cynicism, a greater capacity to accept differences in others, the stubborn refusal to do so. I see all these traits in myself at different times--even the ones that conflict.

Over the past couple of weeks, a few of the more negative ones have sprouted inside me--traits I used to bitch about seeing in the older generation. I'm not going to stand for that! I'm going to work harder on developing the trait of wisdom and remind myself to live and let live. If people don't see things as clearly as I do, that's their problem. :-) I've finally figured out that, unless you're an optometrist or an opthamologist, people don't appreciate it if you tell them all the reasons you think they need glasses. I don't blame them, I guess. I've never admired self-righteousness in others, and I admire it even less in myself.

I love Lucy's secrets for staying young, but I think there's at least one more she didn't mention--trying and/or learning new things. When I was young, I was always up for a new experience. I pushed myself--usually in a good way. I was more spontaneous. I think most people were, and I think those of us who lose that trait over time, get mentally and emotionally older faster. So I'm issuing a challenge to myself today and to any of you that would like to join me: Each week I'll either do something I've never done before or learn something new. Sometimes they'll be big things, sometimes small. I'll try to post what I did every Monday.

Now, I admit that some of the "new experiences" I tried when I was young were idiotic and could've landed me in jail--or worse! Luckily that never happened, though sometimes I paid the consequences in other ways. I'll try my best to avoid those types of new experiences this time around! (I hope I can count on a few friends to bail me out, though, if in trying to recapture some of my youthful exuberance, I recapture some of the youthful stupidity, too ...he-he-he.)

Happy Monday!



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Anonymous said...

Live and let live is a nice ideal. :)

The funny thing about vision--everyone has a different prescription, kind of like opinions. ;)

With all of us focusing in different ways, the world is an interesting place. :)

alex keto said...

I see what you are saying, but going back to Michael Nesmith, I'm not really sure I would blame him for changing. If I recall, the The Monkees biggest claim to fame was a TV slot during the Saturday morning cartoons, but maybe my mind is fading.

dee said...

well...as it turns out your first mission may be sitting in a dark pantry waiting for the castle ghost to scare you witless...that counts I think!!!