Things aren’t what they used to be. How many times have we heard that lately? Of course they’re not. Everything changes and so should we, but it’s hard to do.
The only thing certain in life is change. Who said that? The saying has been paraphrased in several ways, and most often is attributed to Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher from sometime between the 5th and 6th century BCE.
“No man ever steps in the same river twice” is his famous saying from which came the concept of the only constant in life is change. Heraclitus insisted on ever-present change as being the “fundamental essence of the universe,” according to Plato.
Take fortune cookies, for instance. Used to be when taking out the slip of paper from inside the cookie before eating it (the cookie that is), the words written on it were actually a fortune, or a prediction of the future with regards to one’s personal fate or destiny.
Now what’s inscribed tends to be didactic—making moral observations,
designed or intended to teach—while not being premonitory. I’ve recently ordered Chinese takeout from which the follow messages were found:
Humor usually works at the moment of awkwardness.
Compromise is always wrong if it means sacrificing a principle.
Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.
Ideas are like children: there are none so wonderful as your own.
Although the sayings are inspirational, they are not true fortunes as the cookies were meant to have.
That’s better. By the way, I’ve fallen off the sweepstakes wagon and sent back a couple of entries for February’s $5,000.00-A-Week-For Life giveaway. If I win, I’ll be sure not to tell you.
The other day on Twitter, one of the hashtag games had the title: #IAmOldEnoughTo (you fill in the rest). Many of the entries showed how much things have changed:
#IAmOldEnoughTo remember when I had VSH tapes instead of Netflix accounts.
#IAmOldEnoughTo remember when you had to get up to change the channel.
#IAmOldEnoughTo remember being amazed at how old I’d be in the year 2000.
#IAmOldEnoughTo remember the original Pac-man and Tetris being released.
#IAmOldEnoughTo remember calling home from a phone booth.
#IAmOldEnoughTo to have used a typewriter for writing anything official.
#IAmOldEnoughTo remember life before the Internet.
Interesting to note that most of the entries were made by those from Generation X, Y, and Millennials, whose posts received multiple likes and retweets. How about us Baby Boomers?
I offered being old enough to “be Methuselah’s older brother,” receiving not a single like or retweet; also posting “#IAmOldEnoughTo know better, but don’t.” That received one like from a Twitter friend.
Allow me to present some stuff for us old-timers. We remember:
When kids went outside to play unsupervised all day long, coming home when the street lights came on.
Television programs were only in black and white.
Watching the Beatles and Rolling Stones on the Ed Sullivan Shoe.
Gapping spark plugs with a match-book cover.
Buying cigarettes at the corner store for our parents, which actually were for ourselves.
Drinking milk that was delivered by the milkman in bottles with cardboard stoppers.
Balloon bicycle tires.
The above listing could go on ad infinitum. Add some to the comment section at the bottom of this page, if you so please. Bwwwaaaahahaha, like that’s really going to happen.
In closing, here’s a little poem to describe the dilemma of growing old and the changes that have developed, sent from an old friend who likes to remind me that I’m an old fart like him:
How True It Is
Another year has passed,
And we’re a little older.
Last Summer felt hotter,
And winter seems much colder.
I rack my brain for happy thoughts,
To put down on my pad,
But lots of things that come to mind,
Just make me kind of sad.
There was a time not long ago,
When life was quite a blast.
Now I fully understand,
About living in the past.
We used to go to weddings,
Football games and lunches.
Now we go to funeral homes,
And after-funeral brunches.
We used to have hangovers,
From parties that were gay.
Now we suffer body aches,
And while the night away.
We used to travel often,
To places near and far.
Now we get sore bottoms,
From riding in the car.
We used to go out shopping,
For new clothing at the mall,
But now we never bother.
All the sizes are too small.
We used to go to nightclubs,
And drink a little booze.
Now we stay home at night,
And watch the evening news.
That, my friend, is how life is,
And now my tale is told.
So, enjoy each day and live it up,
Before you’re too darned old!
Incidentally, none of the above applies to me, except for maybe about the clothes part, their being sized too small. I’ve read a rule of thumb, concerning a healthy and ideal waist size, that it should be a measure of half your height. With that in mind, I should really stand 6’8″ tall instead of 6′ even.
Thanks for stopping by, and for your continued support.