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Archive for June 6th, 2012

I am archaic, but I am thankful that I am an archaic, aging woman, and not an archaic, aging man.

Recently I have encountered a number of men, who are of the age of fifty’ish, who are … negative, opinionated, stubborn and … grumpy! There have been enough of them that I have started to view every man who appears to be about that age, with the belief that he needs to be avoided at all costs.

In each of the situations of grumpy men, there would appear to be no outward reason for their poor attitudes.

They all have jobs, and solid, secure jobs at that. They would all appear to have healthy, intact, families. They would all appear to have, what most of us would deem, a good life.

I am not sure that they are recognizing their ‘good life’ as good.

Every time that I have encountered one of these ‘gentlemen’ I walk (quickly) away thinking, is there something horrible going on in their life that I know nothing of, or are they simply focusing so much on what they are missing out on that they cannot see what they have?

Now these guys who I am thinking of are not simply guys who are having an ‘off’ day. They are grumpy on a consistent, regular basis. If they were a Sesame Street character they would all be Oscar the Grouch.

John Barrymore said that “a man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” Maybe this is what has happened to these men, and the women of equal grumpiness. Maybe they are entering the second half of life burdened with the regrets of things they did, or did not do, in the first half.

Or maybe, T.S. Eliot’s belief is true, “I don’t believe one grows older.  I think that what happens early on in life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates.” If this is the reality for the grumpy, unhappy, negative, hopeless men and women in our lives, that is a most heartbreaking thing. To have the gift of life in our hands (our feet, our brain, our heart).

It makes me want to live differently. It makes me want to live with hope, continue to dream, and greet each day as the gift that it is, with all of the opportunities and possibilities that were there twenty years ago. The blessing of being ‘middle aged’ is that I can awaken each day with the same possibilities as when I was younger, but now I do so with the added benefit of experience and wisdom (well, experience at least 😉 ).

“They will bear fruit even when old and gray;
they will remain lush and fresh”
Psalm 92:14

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