The more things change…
I was sitting there in my “pedal chair” at physical therapy yesterday and there was an old man of 80+ in the chair next to me. I had actually just blown him away in our little fast walk over here. Him, with his little wooden cane, in the crosswalk and me, with my “four poster”, metal footed, premium version. I just easily surpassed him in the crosswalk, figuring he might be headed to the same place as me. Hey, that’s the way it is in New York. Even with physical therapy….no one wants to wait.
Minding my own business
I was just sitting there minding my own business, when the therapist asks him, “How are you doing?” as he worked his own step machine, about 10 feet away. He replied. “Eh…it’s more in my head than my leg.” He tapped his balding gray head and said….”It’s more up here.” I just smiled and looked straight ahead at my 5 minute timer. Later on, my session moved to the office, where I needed to squeeze a 99 cent supermarket bouncy ball between my legs. Not the most flattering look while I’m laying there on my back…but hey…I need to make it back to “normal”.
Baldy was outside and out of sight, but not out of ear shot. The therapist asked him. “What is the ONE thing that you’ve wanted to do with your leg/knee, that you used to do, but you still can’t do?” and he replied. “I want to go out!. Like out with friends or dancing.” The therapist replied, “Well, then why don’t you do that?” and he replied… “Because nobody asks me.” “I’m kind of a loner.” Again, I smile, looking up at the ceiling, but with a twinge of sadness.
Life is a sitcom
You see, you know those sitcoms on TV, that feature “Older people”? I used to quietly deride them, or the characters that weren’t in my cohort, but now, they are slowly becoming me, or more correctly. I’m becoming them.
I’m Frasier’s Dad now. It hit me the other day. I don’t have full on gray hair yet, and I consider myself a young and spry 53, thank you very much. But I have the same cane, limp and comfy chair as Frasier’s Dad. Ok, I don’t really have the chair…but you get the picture.
Archie Bunker, was just past 50, when he dyed his white hair, to pass for a younger man, in order to get a promotion that he was shooting for. Heck, I used to think Archie was ancient when I would watch that show with my Dad. God, how my Dad loved that show.
These shows are more than “cute coincidences”, they’re clever marketing to a shifting demographic. With a million channels, and streaming shows, it won’t be difficult to avoid them, but people should try to “put themselves” their,
What does this have to do with anything?
When I was in High School, I used to think, “Just get me out of here, and I’ll rise to the top.” Just like smart ass kids ask today, “When will I ever need algebra?”. At the time, I was stating, “There is no prom king and queen” in the “real world.” But there was. (or people that strive to be them)
People marry for love. But they often don’t.
Businesses are ethical. But they’re often not.
There are many more analogy’s that were set up and knocked down for me over the last 53 years.
Someone asked in Twitter post the other day, if they should just quit their job. My advice was to consider working for yourself if you think you have no other options, but make sure you’re going to put in the effort. Employer’s don’t change. They’re always going to want the most for their money. Whatever you’re willing to give. That’s what I’d like younger people to understand. If you’re bought into capitalism, there is not going to be some magical shift where everyone gets to do the type of work they love AND make a ton of money along the way. There will always be some type of sacrifice for those striving to reach any goal within capitalism’s framework. As time goes by, that sacrifice grows. What I realized while sitting there, listening to that old man, is that it doesn’t matter what stage in life you are at, you need to plow ahead and make your own dreams happen, because the next stage is right around the corner.