Age considers; youth ventures.

Do not regret growing older.  It is a privilege denied to many. ~ Unknown.

Earlier in the week I celebrated my Nanna’s (Grandma sounds too ancient apparently) 90th birthday. There were a few unexpected surprises for her, maybe a few too many for a woman her age! But you could see the glint in her eye and you knew she was enjoying every moment of it. She is a remarkable lady, and for her age has a brilliantly sharp mind. She can recall details of past conversations, miscellaneous facts and puts me to shame when it comes to the Countdown number round – ‘it’s easy all you can do is multiply, add, subtract and divide’. Oh, if only it were that simple! I find it amazing that she was born in the Roaring Twenties era and has seen so much change in the world – discovery, invention, war, technological advances – she has never owned a mobile phone or used the internet! I imagine the modern world seems a radically different place, almost unrecognisable, to the times my Nanna grew up in.

It got me thinking about something she said to me over Christmas – ‘don’t live your life like I did’. I didn’t ask what she meant at the time. I’m still unsure whether she was referring to the fact she had never traveled outside England or had never had a career/life of her own outside raising a family – 5 children must have been a handful. Regardless I still think that’s an achievement. ‘Getting to the top’ is subjective, just because you didn’t have a high-flying career doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel accomplished. To me, you are a measure of your own success. If I have an occupation I’m passionate about and have ventured out and explored Planet Earth I’ll feel more than wildly successful.

Robert Butler’s book ‘The Longevity Revolution’ argues that celebrations like my Nanna’s will be a lot more common in years to come. With life spans being likely to expand to 120 years due to ‘advances in genomics and regenerative medicine’ which will result in a decrease in age-related diseases and slowing the phenomenon of aging. This is dependent on funding being pumped into medical research areas such as germ-line engineering of course (sparking much interesting debate). I did giggle when I read that ‘Aubrey de Grey of Cambridge University, [suggested] a life expectancy of five thousand years by 2100‘. Sounds more like science fiction to me, but then again so did the iPod and trans-global instant messaging to my Nanna.


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5 Comments

Filed under Family and Friends, Musings and Aphorisms, Special Occassions

5 responses to “Age considers; youth ventures.

  1. ikkenorskgirl

    My nan is the same when it comes to NOT calling her grandma because of the age factor. She does sound, indeed, like a remarkable lady and I can see why you love and respect her. I mean, to be still as sharp as a tack and enjoying life, not to mention raising 5 kids!

    It does make me wonder about the life our grandparents have led…will we witness so many changes? I hope we don’t experience any wars like they did or the coming back in fashion of the perfect housewife.

    But then, with her saying about not living the same life as she did, I think that’s because when they were brought up you worked to make a better life for your children, and then them for their children. They see their accomplishments through yours. My family say the same things to me. They’ve seen the hard road they’ve gone down and they love me so much as to not let me repeat it and suffer. So…I’m branching out further and making my own challenges. Really touching to see the glint in their eyes when they say they’re proud of me 🙂

    Wonder if we’ll be passing the same message on when we’re fabulous oldies? Ah, but the difference of course will be that we follow it by “now dear, turn that rubbish off and put a bit of old skool techno on!”

    • Wow what an awesome comment!

      It’s funny, because initially I think ‘well not all that much has changed in the past 2 decades’. Then when I really think – it hits me, not just the Internet revolution but how every day we seem to find out more and more little things about the world which lead to the big things. Growing up and being that old seems like an impossibility right now, I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like comparing, say, 2000 with 2070!

      Oh dear, if perfect housewife re-emerges I’m done for – my cooking, cleaning and sewing skills are few and far between 😀

      Aww that is a great perspective. Our generation is so lucky to be able to choose their own paths and follow our callings. I think many don’t realise how lucky!

      Ha, ‘I’ll be having techno with my tea thanks’ – I can just imagine it now!

  2. Greg

    hey, thanks! or should i say, tusen takk! håper det går fremdeles bra med norsken din 😉

    i had totally forgotten about that post, so it was quite stirring to reread it–i don’t think about that day often anymore, but i recall the feelings quite well. it was a very special year.

    i’m looking forward to reading more from your blog! it seems like you’ve just finished what i have just embarked on–college 😀

    vi snakkes!

    • I know everyone says this, but make the most of it. I would say ‘before you know it, it’s over’ but those are scary words that no student wants to hear.

      Work hard, play hard you know the drill! 😉

      Lykke til! 😀

  3. Darren

    Great entry sis! x

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