Thoughts on Aging

As I age, I find it more and more challenging to recall very quickly the names of even those people and things that used to be second nature to me. There is no sense of panic from this phenomenon, because all my friends and family who are my age (75 or older), seem to experience this same characteristic of life’s period of mellowing, which we all try to share, often through humor, whenever possible.

I sometimes liken the memory function to index cards we once used in libraries in order to locate information we wanted or needed. It often takes a moment to find the right one, and as we age, the number of those “cards” increases exponentially until it seems that there are millions of them, and that finding the one we need at any given moment may just take longer. Teenagers usually have only three of those cards at hand: sex, food, and cellphones, rendering their filing systems much faster, if not as rich. Maybe too, the image of a lightbulb above a person’s head works. The problem comes when the bulb eventually begins decreasing from one hundred Watts to seventy-five on some days and before coffee, down to fifty for us elderly folks.

Finally, it makes sense to me that as the elder generation, we can be sympathetic enough to share whatever “Wattage” we may have left to light the way with patience and compassion for each other. There also remains a lot of experience and wisdom on all those little index cards, too much value to discard in favor of mere speed in a world obsessed with velocity.   JB

About John

About John John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BS and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado, where he resided for ten years before moving to Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth book is, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014. John’s most recent book is a novel titled Resisting Gravity, A Ghost Story, published the summer of 2018 View all posts by John →
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