It is said that “youth is wasted on the young.” It is a cliche that echoes of jaded cynicism and a slight bit of self loathing. All the same, I think it and occasionally say it. While it is true that our minds and our bodies have a fair amount of gravity pulling on them, our own attitudes and inaction strap a rocket to our tragic descent into old age.
But what is it in us that screams “I’m old” even when the math doesn’t pan out. Thirty isn’t old. Forty and fifty aren’t old. Sixty and seventy are only old as you let them be. Eighty and ninety brings with it the wisdom to cast aside labels like “old” anyway.
But here we are, riddled with ailments real and imagined, telling ourselves we are old. More specifically, “too old.” I welcome the passage of time, if only because the battle against it is a fool’s errand. I’d rather be bored than think that I am too old to chase my better angels and the occasional other kind.
“Youth is wasted on the young.” I simply counter that wisdom is often wasted on the inaction of those who know better. That 2 a.m. nightcap may not be what you should do on a weeknight, but do not be fooled into thinking it is what you can’t do. Pay for it the morning to be sure, but fight for the good times whenever they might arise.
Because you are young.