Tuesday, June 9, 2009
THE SATISFACTIONS OF AGING
As the saying goes, Life sucks, and then you die. Taking all in all, there is certainly not much to be said for aging. Still and all, there are compensations. I have spent my entire life bedeviled by inner voices telling me that I am not doing enough, not accomplishing as much as I ought, not making as signiciant a contribution to the human condition as I might. Now that I am seventy-five, and retired after a half century in the Academy, I find it reassuring to realize that I have had my say, I have made my contribution, whatever it may in the end appear to be, and that it is, to put it as simply as possible, all right for me to relax, take things slowly, read books with no redeeming social value, solve endless Soduko puzzles, and spend most of a day running errands that at an earlier time I would have tried to squeeze into the interstices of my life. An old friend in South Africa told me that among African peoples, it is even considered appropriate that a man of my age acquire a corporation [which is to say, a potbelly, not a limited liability financial institution]. So, in the one or three or ten or twenty years left to me, I propose to embrace my senior citizenship. That is, unless someone has a challenging job for me to tackle.