“They don’t have all the answers, but at least there are certain things that they know better”.
In my culture, we are taught from childhood to respect our elders, for they are great sources of wisdom. As I grew older, I came to understand that even more. (I am a lovely woman who is between 20 to 30 years old, hehe).
Since I live alone abroad, I don’t have any family members I can interact directly with as much as I wished. Lately, I had the idea to search on Youtube for influencers who were 60 years old and above. I am usually brilliant (I don’t mean to boast) but that was one of the best ideas that ever came to my mind. I highly recommended it, especially if you’re a long-term planner like me. Who can give us better heads up about life than those who lived a little longer?
Of course, young people have fresher ideas that are more up to date with their times, and old people don’t always have it all figured out. Some of them might have even failed us or didn’t leave a good exemple. In any case, I like learning from whoever I can learn something good from, be they young or old. Kids are innocent, youngsters are passionate and innovative, and older people have experience.
On the other hand, I made myself a little chart summarizing certain things I observed about life. They might not be completely accurate, but I found them interesting.
0- 25~30 years old: the time needed to learn about life as much as you can (theorical and practical knowledge) and prepare for adulthood . Trial and error are still allowed somehow and more easily forgivable.
30-60 years old : time to implement what you learnt and work to save money to prepare for your retirement. Try to avoid major life mistakes. If you mess up too big, you’re screwed cause you have less lifetime to turn things around (depending on what you got yourself entangled into).
60- 100 ~ deathday: time to start thinking about how you’ve lived so far, and to try to making up for some mistakes you’ve made. The body starts failing more around this age and it makes you more conscious that you won’t be on earth forever.
Yes, I am that atypical young lady who says we should listen to our parents. I still remember two good advices mine gave me,which saved me a lot of headaches.
First: do not fall for just any guy who tells you you’re beautiful and that he likes you.
Second: Never get tired of doing good to those around you. Your kindness will come back to you, one way or the other.
Mom, Dad, thanks for those heads-up. I haven’t been on Earth for so long, but I’ve lived long enough to experience how accurate those tips are…
By the way; a common mistake we make as young people is to think that we won’t grow old.
One of the worst days of my life was when I woke up one morning, went to the bathroom and got the shock of my life when I looked into the mirror. “Who is this?”
My reflection looked so mature that I thought I had seen a stranger. I wondered if that face was due to lack of sleep, or if my skin lacked hydration. The following days, I tried to sleep better, and I also got some face creams. But… it was in vain.
Then, when I got on the bus or walked on the streets, I started paying more attention to older people. Skin spots, cracks, wrinkles, I discreetly observed a lot. That’s when I understood what was happening to me. “I see… so, this is what it means to start growing old…”. I was shocked, and angry as well (not towards anybody in particular…) because I wasn’t prepared for this.
In regard to this week’s meditation, I felt inspired to write a letter directed to my older self. I should check it when I turn 60, haha.
“ Zaragoza, 19th March 2021.
Dear older me,
If humans are said to live up to about 100 years, I am about a quarter far on the road of life. I am still young, yet my eyes have seen and understood more things than the peers of my age who are still innocently carefree, merry and jolly. I grew up being the youngest in most of the social circles I belonged to. Thus, I have had the privilege to learn from their stories instead of having to go through certain experiences myself. I learn from older people as much as I can whenever I have a chance, I hope it’ll help me avoid unnecessary mistakes and pave a softer way to make my future life better. What better way is there than to listen to advice from someone who has walked on earth longer than I and seen more things than I will ever catch up to? Of course, they aren’t always right and don’t have all the answers, but what they have to say does make the life of us youngsters better. If only we cared to take heed. Sadly, On the other hand, the elderly’s health gets weaker and weaker, sometimes preventing them from teaching as much as they wished. Also, youth is blinded by passion and vigor, and they think they can take on and conquer the world based on that alone.
I have a young body, but the heart of an old lady. It sometimes makes me stand out among my peers, and my sermonings makes them uncomfortable at times. I either sound too known or too holier-than thou.Yet, I do not regret at all, and I cherish my way of life. It is not my aim to sound lofty. I simply desire to have answers, to know the way, and to gain wisdom. That is the best way to live comfortably here on this earth.
I don’t have great ambitions. I simply wish to live comfortably, and help those in needs, within my possibilities.
By the way; it seems that the romantic quest finding a life partner and the professional endeavour to secure a stable job to make a decent living is what keeps us young people busy and gives us purpose. Now that you’re 60, you’ve probably achieved those, or given up. In any case, what are you focusing on? What is driving you through the days? I hope you’ve not falling to the excuse that you’re old and can’t do much. I hope you’re still living to the fullest and staying active. I’m sure there are still things you can do.
So tell me, dear old me; With all the lessons I learnt through the years, are you living a better life? Have you achieved your goals? What stage of your life have you reached? And this one is to make fun of you: how is your frantic and ferocious battle against wrinkles going?
I’m sometimes scared about how I’ll look when I grow old and my body starts to decay. But, for the sake of my own peace- and yours, I have reached a certain level of acceptance; there’s nothing we can do about the passing of time. And also, I want to stop worrying about what hasn’t happened yet. Ever more, lately I’ve been seeing a lot of beautiful older women, and it reassured me that even though our body changes, one can look good at any age. I was greatly encouraged.
Therefore, I’ve decided to not be afraid of aging and live in anxiety, worried about how I’ll look when I grow old. I’ve resolved to be confident about myself and look my best no matter what age I reach. I’ll grow to be a cute, delight-looking granny. So, I’ll take care of our body, keep fit and eat healthy.
I’m not in a hurry to meet you… But see you in some few decades.
Your younger self.”
This marks the end of today’s post. What are some of the good pieces of advice that have marked you? Do you think the gap between generations is an obstacle or a blessing?
And if you’re facing the same worries as me, I hope this post brought you a little comfort.