OUR CORNER: Some favorite wise statements on age

I recently maintained the opinion I had slipped into the netherworld of “middle age,” but I somehow doubt I’ll still be kicking at 104.

That means I’m on the downhill side of life, closer to 60 than to 40. Closer to being considered a grouchy old geezer than a pretentious punk. At 52, closer to death than birth.

But does turning a few pages on life’s calendar mean one has to slow down? To give in to the inevitable changes that come with the passing of a few years?

Like many of my era – those who remember the Kennedy assassination, Woodstock and other landmark events – I’m not about to go gently into that good night. Despite body parts that sometimes yearn for a rocking chair, we remain convinced that life begins at 50…or whatever age we happen to be.

Seeking inspiration to fight the mental battle against yet another birthday on the horizon, I called upon the wisdom of those who have previously walked this path.

Victor Hugo certainly didn’t help. Ol’ Vic might have penned some great lines in his day, but not this one: “Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age.” Fifty isn’t on speaking terms with old age.

Truman Capote didn’t help, either, when he wrote, “Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act.” Of course, one never really knows when the curtain gets lifted on life’s third act; at least, not until the final curtain falls. By then, who cares?

I’ve always preferred sports guys to literary types, so where does the great broadcaster Vin Scully weigh in on this topic? He simply, eloquently described middle age as “a mere moment in a man’s life between an all-star game and an old-timers’ game.” That one I like.

If there’s comfort in being a “50-something” it’s that there are simply so many of us. Baby Boomers have shaped the world as we know it, mostly for the better, one hopes, but often for the worse.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote that “True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.” Recalling many of my contemporaries, I didn’t trust them behind the wheel of a car; I suppose they’re the ones we were supposed to trust with our mortgages.

In the end, the only salvation is in refusing to accept the onslaught of years, clinging to the belief that we’re the coolest generation in the history of planet earth. We might be “middle” but we’ll surely never hit “old.”

We cling to the notion of wise jurist Oliver Wendall Holmes, who correctly maintained that “old age is 15 years older than I am.”

More in Opinion

Maybe it’s time Congress takes back its power

The Constitution gives Congress the most power of the three branches of government.

Poking dead things with sticks

They don’t mince words when they call it a “crawl space,” do they?

America is denying three hard truths

There are three major hard truths that our current government has been denying with great vigor: The Mueller Russia-U.S. Presidential election connection investigation, the war in Afghanistan, and the growing national deficit.

Promote the common good by ensuring individual liberty

Citizens following their passions and dreams improve the lot for all.

The three personas of President Trump

There’s Teleprompter Trump, Raw Meat Trump and Twitter Trump.

Attitudes change on farming non-native salmon

Their warnings fell on deaf ears, but the tables have turned on the fish farming industry in Washington.

Voting yes on levies means investing in our kids’ future

We are White River graduates. Our parents are White River graduates. Our siblings are White River graduates, and our kids will one day be White River graduates.

Voting for the levy with make a major #impact for our schools

I have four children in Enumclaw public schools and they all benefit from programs that are supported by the renewal of the operational levy.

Great schools mean great communities

As former elected School Board Member, State Legislator and King County Judge, we understand the importance of educating all children.

Political soap opera won’t end until midterm elections

Democrats and Republicans in Congress, as well as President Trump, have all taken gambles that will shape the November midterms.

A small act of kindness can make a big impact | SoHaPP

Join SoHaPP’s book group this February to discuss “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. Don’t have the book? Check it out at the Enumclaw Library or visit The Sequel.

Vote ‘yes’ on replacement Education Programs levy

As a high school senior that has spent the entirety of my school life in Enumclaw, I know we have to take it upon ourselves to ensure the efficiency and inclusiveness of our school system.