First of all, my health is a lot better. The worst aspect of getting old is not major health issues…heart, kidney, diabetes etc. Thank GOD, I have no underlying issue. The worst aspect of getting old is that the recovery period from an ordinary bout of flu is much longer and more frustrating.
There is actually a strange transition period in the stages of life. I used to think I was “getting older” and of I joked about being old, friends would rush to assure me “not at all …youre not old”. Now I dont even say that because by any standards, I am 63 and old.
I might worry about my knees…arthritic due to too many marathons (two!!!!) and half marathons (four) and 10k fun runs (far too many). But I dont worry about my mental health….guess what….if you open the dishwasher and put a pint a milk in it and think “Im going mad”….its entirely normal. If on the other hand you have put dirty dishes in the fridge and only know about because your children tell you….then thats a bad sign.
So I feel mostly ok. Except for the irritating fact that nothing is as good as it used to be. Music. TV. Football. Movies. And going to Dublin yesterday and not realising that my bank card expired on 31st August and I had to go to a bank to be told that yes I might be able to withdraw €40 but it as “at the discretion of the cashier”….so being at the mercy of a cashier ….a 14 year old girl I think…is one of those senior moments that really pisses me off.
Increasingly the Future does not seem to appeal. The Music, the TV, Football and the Movies will be even worse and hard to believe that the young people of Dublin…no longer Irish in any traditional sense …want the same kinda future…Irish Unity…that I do. I am a stranger in Ireland. Damn I am a stranger in Belfast. Damn it all, I am a stranger on the Falls Road.
And its the same with Politics. I am a stranger with these issues. In fairness to myself, I coped with the great non-issue of Equal Marriage. The World did not End. In fairness to most others of my generation, we are not actually bothered. Nor should we be. I enjoy seeing “Rights” extended. But increasingly my generation will have trouble with some issues coming down the line…Reproduction Rights, Migration, The Environment, Re-Unification.
Politics is not just about the ebb and flow of ideas at Election time. There is something more fundamental….historic….going on.
Politics is about Optimism. A desire to make the world a better place. Certainly thats true MY kinda Politics. But hard to see any kinda Optimism in the Fux News mentality of Donald Trump or Syrian refugees with babies chanting “Freedom!!!” in the Square outside the main train station in Budapest. Is that the level to which Europe…with those grotesque plans of expansion…has sunk.
Hubris as the Greeks say. Schadenfreude as the Germans say. Karma as everyone says.
I dont have the optimism to even try and make things better.