Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Things one should outgrow...

What exactly did I seed here?
Sometimes things make us so angry we could punch butterflies. I get that. Yet unlike some others I know, as I've aged, my angry-young-man rage seems easier to manage, to contain. Thus, despite occasional lapses, I am actively seeking this goal: do not become a grumpy old man.

Years ago, a young person asked me this: when exactly do people get old? I love this question. It’s a tough one. Although hormones do play a big part in aging, the inquiry was not about biology: not about sagging skin and aging cells. Instead the question was more like this: what’s the tipping point between youthful exuberance and “get off my lawn?”  

Don’t get me wrong. I have a certain appreciation for grumpy old men. All elders have wisdom. All experience lends itself to reflection and contemplation and should be valued. I also understand grumpy old men. We’ve all been punched in the egos by life’s unfairness and grumpy old men have been doing it even longer. Plus our bodies fail us in a variety of ways. Since we men spend much of our youth arm-wrestling and play-punching each other, fading strength is extremely irritating. Plus, grumpy old men can be unintentionally hilarious.  

So how does one avoid becoming a grumpy old man? I think the answer has something to do with pie. All flavours help. But more specifically, a pie graph. Researchers have determined the science behind happiness. Picture a pie graph divided into three sections: 50% of happiness is genetic, 10% is circumstances (career, wealth, age, etc.) and 40% is intent. In other words, genetics and simply CHOOSING happiness is how one actively seeks to avoid grumpiness.

In conclusion, I will tread onto your lawn long enough to say only one more thing: if you want people to get off your lawn, maybe it’s because you've seeded too much crabgrass? 

5 comments:

E. Angelina said...

I think, you got it! :)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You got my hopes up when you started talking about pie but it turns out you meant something different than I did.

Al Penwasser said...

The problem is...those damn butterflies punch back.
I guess I should work out more.

CLR said...

You nailed it. So much of HOW we age is in the way we approach it.

Vinny C said...

I'm constantly wavering between grumpy & playfully immature so, personality-wise, I think I got it down for when old age hits.

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