Wednesday, July 4, 2012

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 89

#89 – “Socialize with people younger than yourself. It will keep you young.”

All of us have memories so crystalized that we remember the color of the air around us, what we were wearing, where we were standing. One such moment for me was the day I asked my mother why all her friends were so much younger. She said, “Because they keep me young.” But I quickly realized the real reason mom hung out with people younger was because friends her age were dead, and I think that was my first realization of my own mortality. Life goes on, but not everyone is along for the ride.

What must it feel like to watch your friends leave this world one by one?  I remember feeling a little untethered when my mom, my last remaining parent, died. And as the baby of my family, I think I’ll feel a similar loss, when and if all my siblings go before me.

From a less morose perspective, I can certainly relate to mom’s #89. It seems many people my age, rubbed raw by the trials of life, can be cynical, grumpy and boring. So, like mom, I gravitate towards young, optimistic, cheerful friends to buoy my own attitude and to drag me out of my rut.

My young and young-minded friends still believe in the possibilities of life, the goodness of man and womankind, and the value of activism. They jump up and down when they hear great music, are fearless and adventuresome, embrace overindulgence, and stay up past 8 pm. All things I feel slipping from my grip.

Of course I can’t give up my old, cynical, grumpy and boring friends because I’ve fallen in love with them. They don’t suffer fools, know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em, are packed full of wisdom, always have your back, and don’t mind going to bed at 8 pm.

So I have both old, cynical, grumpy friends, and young, optimistic, cheerful friends, which is really nice.

Mom was right. We should socialize with people younger than ourselves. And, I would add, cling to and value friends who have stuck by us in spite of the fact that we are old, cynical, grumpy and boring,

Have a happy and safe 4th.


  1. Friends, family, 4th. My favorite blog yet. Happy 4th of July, friend. Ann Denkler

  2. Good one! I've missed your blogs - been too busy with grandchildren? OK, you are forgiven.


  3. Yes Charlena, busy with grandkids (wonderful), and my husband has suffer several strokes lately, (very unwonderful), but he is doing amazingly well considering so we are grateful for that.

  4. It tears at the heart to see those we love suffer the inevitable changes of aging. All the while we are surprised to find that our own bodies show the wear and tear of the years of being younger than our age. Where the heck did these age spots come from and why do my hands look like my mother's used to? It still surprises me that 30-somethings think I'm old. I like this picture of Mommy Wade. -Cameel