Friday, October 16, 2009

Old Peeps

I spoke to some old folks tonight who were in their 80’s.  Most of the conversation was preoccupied with how well their day went, how much exercise they did recently, and what kinds of fights they had been having with siblings who want them to do things they don’t feel like doing.

What makes someone old?  Of course they are more physically limited in their ability to do things, more prone to illness and injury, and less outward as a result in many cases.

But in addition, I think because of their lack of ability to interact with the world as much, many elderly people turn inward to their past in their thoughts.  I find a lot of my conversations with people who are elderly don’t concentrate on what’s happening today, or what will be in the future, but much more on who they were, what the world was like back in the day, and on events that happened long ago.

I can only wonder if, at a time when many elderly people feel that they are losing themselves and feel unconnected with most of what is going on around them, that thinking about what had been and who they were helps to maintain a certain amount of identity, and that makes them feel better.

Just a simple theory.