No, the picture is not me. It’s Billy Connolly (although he does seem to be wearing my glasses). I chose it because I’ve been thinking about where I am in this whole elder thing and I recently saw a DVD of Billy’s Too Old to Die Young tour of New Zealand. It was made a few years ago when he was about the same age as I am now (63) and I think the title says it all.
Like Billy in 2004, I’m certainly not young – I’m no longer even middle aged – but neither am I entering my dotage. I am however, “too old to die young”, at least by the standards of Radio 4’s obituary program Last Word which (another sign of my age perhaps) I enjoy listening to. Not once have I heard the presenter Matthew Bannister declare that the life of the deceased (aged 63) was tragically cut short. Three score years and twelve may be a biblical underestimate of what constitutes a full innings these days but 60 something does seem to be considered a reasonable whack. Hmmm.
I guess I’m still caught somewhere in that awkward age between adolescence and death. For a while at least, I’m going to stop worrying about what it means (or might mean) to be an elder, accept the fact that life and death are both pretty unpredictable, and concentrate on living my life as fully as I can and on enjoying it moment by moment.
Incidentally, I really like the way Billy Connolly (now 70) seems to be expressing a richer, more generative and inclusive relationship with the world through his recent travel/performance documentaries: he’s ageing well, growing into a more well-rounded and – to me at least – more interesting person.
Thanks for your inspiration and example, Billy.
[ Reposted from: http://www.elderflowering.org ]