The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The older one gets, the more one realizes that they are the same person inside.
Visually, I know that when someone looks at me, they see my grey hair.
But I am not an age. I am a person. I am the same person. I don’t recognize the person in the mirror.
I am impressed with the youth of today. Unlike the previous generations that had separate cultures, the youth of today are exposed to the same music, fashion, styles and habits we were.
Just walk into a Squamish grocery store, and one is immersed in the songs of the 1960s, Motown sounds of the 70s and the big hair of the 80s.
Vinyl is making a comeback, and mixed tapes.
Even short shorts.
The youth of today, not only get us, in some respects they adopt us.
When I inherited an old record player cabinet from my Mom and advertised it on Ebay, who bought it? Two young guys who watched Happy Days on TV, nostalgic for more innocent times.
The challenges of youth today are many.
And, I fear they’ve been sexualized and forced to make adult decisions before they are ready.
Our parents may have faced wars and unplanned pregnancies, but today’s youth have to face challenges and decisions unimaginable to elders. Drugs were less available. In my day, a young man was sent home for smoking a cigarette on the school grounds. These days youth have to watch out for fentanyl.
Many older people, myself included, are glad that we struggled through interesting times, and paid our dues. We Baby Boomers and the me-generation have had it pretty good.
Let’s face it, we were — and probably still are — spoiled brats. Wanting our way.
The younger generation have to contend with our selfishness, and they are fighting back and telling us off. Rightly so. Thank goodness, the youth of today are aware, serious and smart.
Now is the best time to be older. For those who are facing health issues, at least here in Canada, there are medications, doctors, nurses, physios, therapists, caregivers, researchers and cures. There are discounts and senior rates, low-cost bus trips, yoga and line dancing, Meals on Wheels and exercise programs, and all manner of health programs to help keep us fit and entertained.
Our job is to sign up, show up, and take advantage of all the opportunities shown, so we’ll be less of a burden down the road.
Yes, one can feel isolated. And there are times when one is lonely. But that is the universal human condition faced by folks of all ages, sex, and mental and physical circumstances.
It is a cliché but still true: Life is what you make of it at any age.
I’ve found that experience gives you the right to speak your mind. A lapse in memory or judgment can be excused as a senior moment. We all have them. Treat others with the same dignity they show you, or not. Stand up and speak up.
The older I get, the more I realize that age doesn’t matter. Young or old, all people desire the same things: to be loved, encouraged, accepted and respected.
Melody Wales is a long-time writer and Squamish resident.