Touch of Grey
Updated: Feb 8
What It's All About blog by Tony Forder
I find myself at the threshold of....no, not the golden years, not the sunset years – which comes first? – maybe silver, well at least bronze. I never was too concerned about other thresholds – 40 – no, 50 – nah, 60, well that was a bit different. I took Elvis Costello's words seriously at age 59 which he described as the Last Year of his Youth. But, approaching my eighth decade I'm at the threshold of, "Wait how did I get here all of a sudden?"
Why does time gather speed? Sure, each day is the same length in terms of hours, minutes and seconds, but I realized quite a while ago that each day is shorter as a percentage of your life. Do you remember when you were young days seem to last forever. Probably not. But the reason is simple – it's because when you were young a day was a much bigger percentage of your life. I have heard it called the toilet roll phenomenon. The roll spins slowly when it's full and much more quickly towards the end. No wonder some people say life is full of shit. But that's not really What it's All About.
Obviously, time is relative, even relative to mood. I've noticed that some days time seems to go slowly, easy to get things done. Other days it seems you're frantically trying to catch up to a runaway train. One time equalizing trick is to try and remain present. I have found meditation helps. If I have a good meditation in the morning, it helps me focus and by evening I might be saying, wow did all that happen today?
It's funny how your friends don't really seem to age. Well they do, but perhaps you don't notice if you see them fairly frequently. You are growing old together, so you're changing at the same rate, growing old at the same rate. It's only when you look back at photographs do you say, "Wow we looked so young then.'
Then there's the Harvey graph. The older you get the less you care about stuff, as illustrated by the Don't Give a Shit diagram below.
Of course, there are blessings to seniority – look at all the discounts you can get. Then there's the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that a friend sent me:
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
To which I replied I believe my best friends have always afforded me a modicum of stupidity, but yes, it grows with time.
Someone said to me recently, wow ,you haven't aged, in fact you look younger. I said, yeah, I have that disease, you know Benjamin Button. You shoulda seen me when I was born!
So, it's not the Golden Years yet (When do they start – 80s?), but I'm preparing.
Hope I can still share a beer
No more career, live without fear
Keep friends near and dear
And Ain't That What It's all About!