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Aging, Attitudes and Maturity

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Coot, Dec 15, 2002.

  1. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    As I'm a couple of years past 50, I've taken note of some subtle (or not so subtle) changes in my own character and am more than a bit curious if some of our other dinosaurs have had similar experiences.

    The biggest change I've seen is more patience and less desire to run roughshod over the ideas and opinions of others. At work I see it in ways I wouldn't have imagined. I allow subordinates to painstakingly make their case for a bad idea or run blindly down a wrong path and smack their head into that same brick wall I would have steered them away from 10 years ago.

    My first inclination on this matter is that 10 years ago, my own level of responsibility was less, with less margin for error. Now that I have some operating room, it is easier to justify allowing people to fail on small projects without incurring overriding costs. I have somewhere along the line become a firm believer that allowing someone to fail will teach them far more than either fencing them into areas of their own expertise or forcing them along a path not of their choosing with a known successful outcome.

    On the otherhand, I may be just as inclinced to accept the fact that 10 years ago, I wouldn't have allowed subordinates the opportunity to fail at tasks due to the inefficiency involved.

    I also see it in how I deal with my granddaughter as opposed to how I dealt with my kids.

    Today, my granddaughter and I replaced the dishwasher...a task that would have taken me about an hour. It took us a little over 5 hours.

    We had to remove the old unit, read the installation instructions, take the instructions out to the garage to make sure we had all the tools we needed, nevermind the fact that all the tools we needed were already in the kitchen from having taken the old one out ;)

    Then there was the timeout we needed to put the bandaid on my forehead after she dropped a crescent wrench on gampa's nads and I smacked my head on the sink trap ;)

    I guess the point I'm trying to get to is this...is this aspect of aging a pretty much normal turn in life...more patience and the willingness that is almost a desire to teach and pass along the things that don't exist in the textbooks? Are we genetically predisposed to patience and to some degree mentoring as we get older?
  2. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    What a wonderful topic. I'd love to hear the wisdom of others and know what's waiting for me.

    Sort of "What to expect when you are XX amount of years" thread. :)
  3. BigDeputyDog

    BigDeputyDog Straight Shootin Admin Staff Member

    I, too, have surpassed the half century mark. I have noticed that my tendency to criticize has diminished while my rate of praising has increased. I take the time to see the small things in life that bring a smile rather than rushing through the day headlong and hellbent. I no longer worry about someone seeing me shed a tear if my emotions so move me. My sense of humor has blossomed (albeit some think it is twisted) and I laugh more readily. Where once I sped past the roses, I now take the time to not only smell each one, but to also drink in its beauty and feel its texture. I guess the best way to say it is, even though time feels as it is passing quicker, I am living slower.

    It used to be, when I heard the phrase "don't sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff", that I would laugh and carry on my business. Now I believe in it and live it.

    BDD... :{)
  4. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I wish I had grandkids to comment on that. Neither of my grown kids show any inclination to marry yet so I will have to wait on that. I will say my wife has been buying Disney movies and other objects for the grandkids for years.

    I did find I was inclined to allow subordinates more room to decide how to proceed. I will not say I allowed them to follow a path that was completely wrong but if their path would succeed I was inclined to allow them write it up as an alternate procedure. But my military training did require that they knew how to do it by my book before they could suggest an improvement.

    I find I have less patience with rules and laws that have no basis in logic. I am also writing members of government more often to let them know what I think and how they can get my vote.

    After a lifetime of watching people hurt each other I have no patience with cruelty. I am proud to say one of the lessons my son says he is most pleased with was that the only unforgivable sin is to intentionally hurt others. People can force you to make a decision that hurts them, but to go out of your way to hurt others gets no leeway from me.

    That is not to say I do not hold people responsible for their own actions. As many of us golden agers (I AM ONLY 54) believe, you make your own choices. When you make a mistake or a bad decision own up to it and fix it. Don't expect me or the government to bail you out.

    I also have much more compassion for the mobility impaired. For the last three years my mobility has gone up and down but I am coming to the realization that anything requiring a lot ot walking requires extra thought and sometimes I just can't go where I want when I want. I would probably not make all past businesses comply with access laws but the cost of incorporating easy access in new structures is low enough to be good business.

    Mentoring? I love to help others with what I have learned but I do not advise unless asked. I had a father who always allowed his sons to make their own decisions. But if you asked him for advice and did not take it you were in deep kimchee. So I make sure when I offer advice I then back off. Gives me much more input into things with my children than my dad had. Once we realized my dad's way we quit asking him!

    And I have learned the ability to talk to your wife, the ability to share your dreams and your experiences with her is much more important than her cup size.

    Damn, I know I get long winded late at night and should not have started this at 1 AM. Good night all. Sorry for the long post.
  5. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    Anyone for a Seniors Forum?;)
    I'm qualified to respond here and have been for a few years. The worst thing about getting older is the physical deterioration in the sense that your stamina isn't what it used to be. You know that if you kick that ball, throw that ball or swing that club with as much gusto as you used to then something is going to give. And it will take a lot longer, if ever, to heal, than it used to. I watch my son sit on the floor on his heels and remember being able to do that and know that if I was ever even able to get in that position it would take a lot of effort to straighten up.
    But the trade off is the calmer oultook on life you have I believe. With age comes experience and a more reflective oulook on life in general. Still a lot of frustration and situations that can anger you but not as emotional a reaction as when your younger. I miss some of the intensity I used to feel though and envy those still young enough to feel strongly about some of the things one comes across in life.
    I'm more concerned now about social issues, global issues I suppose which makes this a good place to be. To see some of the idiots who get themselves into positions of influence in all levels of govt maddens me and makes me believe I have something to offer and wish I had been more politically minded when I was younger.
    I haven't any grandkids yet but that is something I hope to experience.
    If it wasn't so late here I'd rave on a bit more. If you guys keep this thread going I'll join in again tomorrow.
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    I am older -- 67 today. I find the oppposite. I am a bit less patient and tolerant of foolishness than I was when a bit younger -- perhaps because I semse that time is running out and I do not want to waste it. Biggest problem is losing patience with my wife sometimes. Guess I am getting to be a cranky old man.

    It might be different with grandchildren by mine live in California and I am in New York, so I do not see them much and when I do it is a special visit and we do not work together, etc.
  7. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Pardon my slip into humor, but this seemed borderline appropriate.
  8. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Interesting thread! I'll be 60 in April, so I guess I qualify for the Seniors Forum. :) I'm both more patient about many things and less patient about some things. I've come to value kindness in others more than when I was younger, and I'm less willing to put up with some of the shabby treatment I had from others when I was younger. I take more joy in the simple pleasures of life, and I have more of a sense of being in charge of my life than I did years ago.

  9. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    Sound advice Shiny. LOL.
  10. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Is anyone here in the U.S. finding themselves getting screwed by their employer (sorry Shiny) converting the company's 401K plan to a cash balance plan? Now that Mr. Bush has streamlined the process for companies to avail themselves of this option without any safeguards for us 'older workers', I gotta wonder what's on the horizon...especially with the low payout for Social Security.
  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    More screwing of employees by the companies that bought the election for Mr. Bush.
  12. jamming

    jamming Banned

    I do have a request for you guys that are more seniors, don't hide your wisdom under the apple box, by putting it into a special agist forum that only some can have access to. Put those "Pearls of Wisdom" on display for us all.
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    Wisdom? Surely you jest, ssir.
  14. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    As I get older I get looking for that "wisdom" to finally appear. Then I remember I had those teeth pulled years ago.

    But seriously, one of the secrets of wisdom is knowing that you only gain it by experience, not by being told. But knowing that here is a pearl for you.

    Our country needs the young liberal and the religious right with idealistic goals, the nirvana that all human kind should achieve. But as badly as we need them the only reason they do not destroy us is the old curmudgeons who have learned what is practical and what is logical and what is fair. It takes all these groups to make this country what it is. Without any one of the groups we would be much less that what we are.
  15. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    To that, I can only add that experience is what you get when you don't get what you want ;)
  16. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    Or, Experience is a good school but the fees are high.
  17. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    Hmm. Maybe we need a youngins forum. I'm only 15...

    *Remembers scene in MiB (the original) where J can't get the attention of anyone, then he goes "Hey old people!" and everyone stares at him*
  18. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

    As someone who is just a couple of months past turning 50, I am eager to see what happens when I become adult. ;)

    Not quite sure if I ever plan on becoming *old* so I may have to settle for being 'youth-challenged'.

    Patience, humor and common sense will see you through most things.

    Faith and love will take care of the rest.

  19. bruzzes

    bruzzes Truthslayer

    One change I noticed is that I grunt a little more often when sitting down or standing up.:)

    I don't know what wisdom is, but I do know that some lessons are learned without an actual moment of realization.

    One of the greatest personal growths I acquired somewhere is the adage;

    "Do what you got to do, when you got to do it."

    A very simple concept that took me years to realize it's importance. Often I would bemoan having to do something I do not want to do. The accompanying baggage of anger, resentment, the old poor me attitude often caused a great deal of misery that would last over the time period. These emotions stilted my outlook on life and caused a great deal of animosity that was reflected by the accompanied emotion. Instead of just me feeling this way, anyone around me often felt this negative vibe and became un-comfortable.

    I now deal with this by remaining neutral. Some may call this a defense mechanism, but by remaining neutral the emotions are never generated. My focus becomes putting one foot in front of the other and taking the necessary steps. What a pleasant difference in my life and others around me.

    The other lesson in my life is taking responsibility for all my actions. One must consider all the possible consequences of that action and be willing to stand by them. When I am wrong, and at some point realize it, I must admit it. So often we rationalize or justify our decisions to avoid admitting we are wrong. I do not feel less than a man to do this.

    The last lesson I learned is tolerance. I think a part of wisdom comes when you can see the right path for others and yet realize that they must go through the "growing pains" themselves. So often I was given the correct path and rebelled against it. In the long run I learned the pain and lessons could have been avoided if I had followed that advice. But the greatest lesson learned is that often one MUST go the wrong way occasionally to learn.

    Every day brings more insights. I am looking forward to these new lessons.
  20. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Wonderful points old timer.

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