I have a board game called Name 5. The premise is pretty simple – players advance on a game board by naming five items from a card they draw (e. g. Name 5 ... Madonna songs).
A timer is involved, so that pretty much kills my chances of doing well because my brain just can’t recall specifics when a timer is ticking, but the game is a lot of fun.
My friends and I have played it a couple of times, and I heard one particular topic that I thought would be fund to explore here: Name 5 ... Good Things About Getting Older. For the record, I didn't set a timer when listing these.
1. The lows aren’t as low as they used to be. I’ve never been an overly emotional person, outwardly, but internally, when I was younger, nearly every bump in the road felt like a crisis and when a genuine crisis occurred, I didn't think I would survive. I'm just talking about the typical teenage angst – girls, popularity, sports. With age came perspective though. By surviving previous trials, I know that somehow I'll survive new ones too.
2. Having a core set of people you can trust. More than half of my closest friends are the result of friendships formed in high school. I know they are going to be present when I need them to be and I think they can same the same about me. We’ve seen the best and worst in each other, but still, the friendships remain. That’s not always the case when a person is younger – when so many relationships are based on performance.
3. Entertainment is more about the people you are with than the activity. The question that never changes is, what do you want to do? In high school, we went cruising, attended dances, went to football games and listened to music together. The event was necessary. Now, I go to coffee shops, go to movies, go to sporting events and a few other things, but mostly, the events are just the backdrop for the relationships.
4. Having the ability to look backward and forward. I had a conversation with one of my nieces some time ago. She was twenty at the time and trying to figure out her place in the world. I told her about the hardships the previous generations in our family endured so my generation and hers would have more opportunities. I wanted her to know that her generation doesn’t exist in a void. She has something to pull from.
5. Digging deeper instead of wider. When I was a boy, I wanted to become a football player, a tennis player or a rock star when I grew up. I was also into stamp collecting, rock collecting (for about two hours), coin collecting, baseball card collecting, and lots of other things. My passions aren’t spread as thin anymore. Today, I read every book a favorite author writes. I listen to entire albums, not just the hit songs. I put my feet up and turn everything off sometimes, just to think. Depth is more satisfying.
How about you? Can you name five good things about getting older? Take all the time you need. I won't even start the timer.