There’s a stereotype of older people in which they’re querulously complaining about everything: their health, the neighbor kids, noisy gardeners, bad drivers–you name it. And while some of us are like that, for the most part the Baby Boomer generation is more tolerant, I think, than our parents’ generation. Or so it seems. In general.
I say “seems” because I know many Boomers who write or blog, and I can’t help but notice that some of them use a whole lot of bandwidth to….complain.
That’s right. They complain. Just like our parents.
Not all of them–but some.
Our generation seems to complain almost as much as our parents did.
We complain about getting older.
We complain about the ravages of age on our skin and on our bodies.
We complain about our aches, our pains and our chronic illnesses.
Hell, we even complain about menopause.
We complain. And many of these complaints are about things we can’t do a thing about. They are a normal part of getting older.
And so I’m wondering–is this also just part of aging, this need to complain?
Just like my cohorts, I’m aging and I feel the effects just like they do.
But–what exactly can I do about aging? Nothing. Nothing but complain. And frankly, I don’t want to complain about it. I don’t want to waste one moment giving energy to the negatives in my life.
I embrace my age. Sure, I’d love to be a hot, young thing again, but those days have passed. I’d love to not worry every time I go to the doctor–but the fact is more of my life is behind me than lies ahead and one day I might not like what I hear from her.
I’d like to be forever young. But that’s not possible. Not yet, anyway.
Instead, I’ve gained wisdom with age (and with pounds). Clarity. Perspective. Even skills.
Just like my cohorts, I have aches and pains and ailments I must deal with. But when these come up?
I think of my friends who are battling for their lives and I think about my own small problem, “it’s not cancer.” And then I don’t complain.
I am not going to chemotherapy five days a week and I hope I never do. If you do? You have a right to complain and I”ll hold your hand while you do.
But the thing is, most people who are undergoing treatment don’t complain. They don’t give voice to the negative. They are too busy fighting for their lives. And they know not to let the negative take root. Positive thinking can change the course of their lives and they get that. I do, too.
So complaining about wrinkles, stretch marks and being in my 60s? I can’t do it. Because all those faces of my courageous friends come to mind. And I feel kind of silly.
I’ve lost patience with reading complaints, whether about aging or something else. They make me think that my friends are just as old and peevish as my parents’ generation.
And that makes me feel old.
You know what makes me feel even older?
This blog post in which I am…complaining.