Call me a grouch. You probably think I am. The reason? I have decided to grow older disgracefully and that means breaking lots of rules – some of yours – some of mine.

Who am I, anyway? I’ve probably arrived at the time of Social Security and maybe Medicare. I’m not a prophet of doom, but actuarially, if you have lived sixty years, you probably won’t live another sixty. Those promises you have been making to yourself about future actions, will have less chance for actual fulfillment, so stop the damned procrastination. Do it now. Forget about quantity and start focusing on the quality of your life. All stuff that we’ll talk more about as we go on and we grouches do go on.

Forget about the manana syndrome. You know how that goes. I will do it tomorrow or at least someday, maybe the same someday when that prince or princess comes along. Forget all those terrible rules enslaving you as to what to do, and when and how to do it. Like so many of us, you wanted to fit in with the group to which you had attached yourself. Fitting in meant doing the same thing as ninety-eight percent of what the rest of your world was doing. Your self confidence came partly from that feeling of belonging and the belief that you could rectify past mistakes with future actions. Forget it. You have reached the promised land and in the words of the playwright, Robert Burton, “No rule is so general which admits not to some exception.” Just a fancy way to say that rules are made to be broken and I might add, what better time than now?

Yes, fellow grouches, this is the time to be outspoken, to make up for all the years when you were mute for some reason or other. As a grandparent, we can be outspoken when we see some child’s ego being trampled on by an irate or impatient parent, and ream out the so-called adult instead. If our adult children are embarrassed by our behavior, it’s obviously our fault for not bringing them up right, and they can always resort to mutterings of dementia along with pitying looks in our direction. We don’t care. We know where the true dementia lies.

Comments are closed.