Thursday, January 14, 2016

Age and Perception: Thoughts

If I had blogged last night, I would have called it "I Should Have Gone to Bed After the Second Period," which tells you all you need to know about the Bruins game. Though hopefully I would have tempered that by talking about knitting, and how well the little cashmere scarf is going.

However, I did not blog last night, and today I have something else on my mind. The death earlier this week of David Bowie made me very sad, and then waking up this morning to learn that Alan Rickman, too, is gone*, has me thinking hard about aging and where I am in this process.
*First reaction: Nooooo! Ah, damn it!

Naturally for me, hockey comes up as an analogy. For many years, watching hockey gave me a sense of the progression of time. I watched when I was a kid, and the players were adults. As I went into and then out of high school, I got closer to the age of the youngest NHL players, which was such a weird concept for me: "I'm not remotely ready for real life, and someone my age is playing pro hockey? Is someone I watch on TV? How is this possible?"

And time continued, as it does, and more and more players were my age, or younger, and then most of them were younger, and for a while I held on to the fact that there was at least one player older than I was (thanks, Mark Recchi), but that ship has sailed. They are all younger than I am. For instance:

  • "Zdeno Chara is so old, his play is declining, how much longer can he play?" He'll be 39 this year. That's not really old, just hockey-old. 
  • Jaromir Jagr, who has been in the league forever, so long that some of his teammates weren't born when he started, is younger than I am. Impossible, but true.

In the last few years, once they all became younger than I am, it lost its place as an age reminder for me. They are all younger than I am, and they always will be. Nothing to see here, folks. Since then, it's the everyday reminders, the doctor or the policeman who looks so young, or the coworker who IS so young, who doesn't remember a time before answering machines or VCRs or household computers. These are the reminders of time passing, and they are strong, but not the same somehow as when people die, are just gone, too soon.

I suppose no one thinks that people younger than they are, no matter what that age is, should die. I'm of an age (late 40s) where even more on my mind is that people younger than my mother should not die, because I don't even want to go there, thank you.

Anyway. Not coherent thoughts, perhaps, but this is on my mind today. I'm off to go swimming. Tell me, if you don't want to delve into the deep topic, do you know anything about waterproof headphones? I hear such things exist. How do they work? Do you have to have a smartphone?


Blogger Alice said...

The thing with people dying who are around my parents' age is really starting to freak me out. NOWHERE CLOSE TO ACCEPTABLE UNIVERSE ARE WE CLEAR.

9:51 AM, January 15, 2016  

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