The Importance of Importance
I’ve been thinking lately about things that were important to me when I was younger as opposed to the things that are important to me now. For instance When I was younger it was important to make the most of every waking hour and today it is more important to get a good nights rest and have time to reflect on things before making rash decisions.
When I was younger it was important to bound up and down stairs three at a time. Now it is important to contemplate every step. When I was young I wanted to work on my cars, and now I work on my house. When I was young I use inappropriate tools, and now I get the best labor saving tools. When I was young I’d read every book I could get my hands on and now I write and write and write some more. When I was young I drove fast and now I pull over to let tractors pass me (only kidding). When I was young I’d buy at least five albums a week. Now I drive in silence listening for tell-tale signs that the truck is going to break down.
When I was young I was obsessed with dating and mating. Now I’m just happy if someone gives me a sincere smile.
Writing this piece reminded me of an old song by Pete Seger. I saw a documentary on him on PBS a couple weeks ago. He’s getting old and this song pretty much sums up the universal aging process.
MY GET UP AND GO HAS GOT UP AND WENT by Pete Seger
How do I know my youth is all spent?
My get up and go has got up and went
In spite of it all, I'm able to grin
When I think of the places my get up has been
Old age is golden, I think I've heard said
But sometimes I wonder as I crawl into bed
My ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup
My eyes on the table until I wake up
As sleep dims my vision, I say to myself
Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf?
But nations are warring and business is vexed
So I'll stick around to see what happens next
When I was younger, my slippers were red
I could kick up my heels right over my head
When I was older my slippers were blue
But still I could dance the whole night thru
Now I am old, my slippers are black
I huff to the store and I puff my way back
But never you laugh, I don't mind at all
I'd rather be huffing than not puff at all
I get up each morning and dust off my wits
Open the paper and read the obits
If I'm not there, I know I'm not dead
So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed