The Other I

May 16, 2012

Getting old

Filed under: Just Stuff — theotheri @ 2:07 pm

By and large I’ve enjoyed getting older.  I know I’m fortunate to have good health, a marvellous husband, and that I find life in general immensely interesting.

Over the years I’ve seen in various relatives as they reached my age:  their impulse control isn’t as strong.  I’ve seen them have seconds and thirds on desserts and alcohol that they would have turned down before, for example.

And now I’m seeing it in myself.  It’s rather humiliating, since I’ve always been someone who adapted well to a disciplined schedule.  Now, though, I see myself playing that useless game of Freecell more often, giving into the urge for an unnecessary sugary snack more frequently, delaying tasks that in the past I would simply have accomplished without procrastination.

And since I’ve been practicing developing will power as if it were a physical muscle to be exercised, more and more I’ve had to downsize my goals.  I sometimes think I am indulging in a newly-discovered luxury of laziness.

I don’t enjoy it much.  I don’t get a high from winning 99% of the Freecell games I play.  And grabbing a snack isn’t nearly as enjoyable as actually sitting down at a proper meal.

So I’m going to work on delaying this onslaught of impulsiveness.

For starters I’m getting a bottom line for the amount of time I spend playing computer card games each week.  That at least will give me some idea of the size of mountain I’ve constructed.

My plan is to write a future post on my progress.

If I don’t get distracted.

I was also tempted to keep track of snacks, but I’ve learned that less is more.  I’ll work on the Freecell.  If that works, I’ll tackle some other compulsive obsession that is giving me no pleasure and doing me no good whatsoever.




  1. Me too. Except that in my case it’s a matter of not feeling that stuff that was crucial a few years back is urgent at all. I still get very anxious about not doing what I feel I should be doing, but feel a shocking lack of guilt about stuff I used to fret about–such as “letting down” people if I don’t show up for a book club meeting I don’t want to go to. Partly I think this is a matter of putting things in perspective, and I see that as a plus of aging (we always have to guard against agism, ya? it’s sneaky, like other isms, seems intuitively valid). I still wish I could get more done, but I seem to accept the fact better now that my idea of “doing” now embraces activity I used to see as procrastination, such as staring out at the ever-changing trees that blanket the horizon from my apartment windows here in, believe it or not, Brooklyn, New York. I always sat and stared at something, I realize now. That’s who I am. Other people call it contemplation or meditation. All my good ideas have come this way, inadvertently, obliquely, and it’s my “down time,” when I seem to be doing nothing, that has been the most fertile. But, notice how I still try to justify what it seems to be in my DNA to do by claiming some sort of productivity for it. Good old Calvin. Montaigne asked a friend what he did that day. The friend said he did absolutely nothing. To which Montaigne replied, “But you lived, man, you were alive!”


    Comment by pianomusicman — May 16, 2012 @ 4:15 pm | Reply

    • Tom, you are a breath of fresh air. Thank you.

      And I do believe that looking out your apartment window at the ever-changing trees is a source of creativity. As I told “Anthony,” I’m very fond of Brooklyn, and the parks is one of the reasons.

      I will also confess that I occasionally have found that playing Freecell is a form of creative meditation. It takes so little concentration that for a while I almost convinced myself. But in truth, I really get my best ideas when I’m — believe it or not — exercising and listening to music. It’s a magic mix for me.



      Comment by Terry Sissons — May 16, 2012 @ 8:56 pm | Reply

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