Tuesday, October 3, 2023

I’ve Never Been This Age Before!

Have you laughed today? Sometimes it seems we have laughing experiences more often than others. This past week it seems laughing was a real happening for me. It probably comes as no surprise that older people probably find more humor in the events of the past than in the anticipation of any humor of the future. As for the “now” we do laugh often, but mostly to ourselves, and then after a brief review go out of our way to share the incident with others. I think it’s also interesting how often we can laugh over the same incident no matter how often it is mentioned.

One of my favorites is when a friend and I were discussing the fleeting moments of our youth. She shared that she became fascinated with a certain young man in high school. She followed his  every move and envisioned future time together in a dream like fashion. This attraction, in her mind, was a rock solid caring until one day, while in class, he was asked to come before the class to be the one to write on the blackboard. She was thrilled that again she could see him in motion, however, this time she noticed he had a hugh hole in the heel of one of his socks. Romance went right out the window, instantly. We both love to laugh at this recall and end up saying at that age we certainly could be fickle. So if you can recall a sudden change of heart from another it could be as simple as a hole in your sock.

In my time of youth holes in our wardrobe were quite common, especially in the heel of your socks. Both my mother and grandmother had a ceramic egg shaped toad that made sewing, sometimes called darning, much easier to do. My friend, Marion Johnson said this was called a darning egg. This darning egg was used to make the closing of the hole not quite so bulky. If not done correctly it could and did often cause a blister to form on your heel, ouch. I seem to remember reference to a darning needle, also. It seems there were always several socks laying near the darning egg. I suppose they were there to remind the mother, in her quiet time, this too needed doing. So much for sacred idleness in those days.

I’ll be attending a school reunion. Our school, Grand Chain High School, had a small enrollment so all the classes at  Grand Chain High School reunion together.

This school has consolidated and is now known as Century. Reunion committe persons are to be praised as a gathering such as this requires much undertaking.

I loved my teenage years and I did learn much that has helped me enjoy a great life. Thank goodness I never had to recall much of my math and algebra classes.

But as I’m reflecting I remember writing a column in our school  newspaper called, “Rosie’s Rumors.” Also I did receive a “Quill and Scroll,” pen for an article  I wrote for the same school paper. I interviewed and wrote about two former high school boys buying a pool hall in Grand Chain. I remember, Mrs. Connell, my teacher, saying to me how fortunate I was to receive the pen because the organization giving the award questioned the topic.I found some more interesting information that stated that older brains have new strengths. It is said that we older folks are a better judge of character.

In a test at North Carolina State University, older folks out performed younger participants in determining whether people were honest and intelligent. Along with that victory Duke University researchers discovered that our older brain is more efficient. Seems older individuals use the brains right and left hemisheres at the same time. Typically the brain uses the left for some tasks, and the right for others. In effect, the mature brain creates a synergy that helps it think outside the box.

A real surprise for many of us is that we are less neurotic than we used to be. Australian scientists found that neuroticism was less prevalent in subjects ages 50 to 79. Brain scans also revealed  a more controlled response to fears. The experts  theory is that a growing awareness of mortality and a desire for meaning mellows the mind.

I hope this “glass half full” philosophy lets you know if you’re older, we’re ok after all, and if you are a young reader you can look forward to aging as a positive experience in many ways.

More later.

It is too late to learn how to box when you are in the  ring.