Changing trends part of growing older 

Published 6:47 pm Friday, February 28, 2020


Community Columnist

I can recall when I was in high school that my definition of being old was anyone over 30. Now I am looking in the mirror over 20 years since I passed that age. 

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I don’t have any problem with getting older as each year that I have lived is filled with memories of influential people who have taught me some sort of lesson, whether that be for good or bad. So many times, people waste their lives wishing they could go back and be young again. I can honestly say that a fountain of youth could spring up in my front yard and I wouldn’t take a drink.  I cannot speak for others but I can attest that when I was 18, I thought I knew everything. Looking back, I see that I essentially knew nothing and an abundance of testosterone made me feel 10 feet tall and bulletproof. These days, my body says to go sit down and shut up before you hurt yourself.

The biggest benefit of growing older is experience. There are so many things that my generation has experienced that are no longer the trend. For example, the kids of today will never know the frustration of opening up an encyclopedia and having to search through the volumes to find what you’re looking for. That task has now been assigned to Google as we can search for virtually anything we want at any time.  

Another skill that no one seems to know how to do anymore is how to fold a map, much less how to read one. Any cell phone today has an app that will give you turn-by-turn directions so you’ll never get lost unless of course you’re like me and ignore the directions because you think you know where you’re going when you clearly don’t.  

Today we have virtually every movie available to us at the touch of a button. Gone are the days of walking into a video store and finding the movie you want and having to remember to rewind before returning it to the store. 

I can tell you that when I played Frogger on my old Atari 2600 that my breath was evidently magical because blowing into the game cartridge seemed to fix anything that went wrong with it. Kids of today will never know the struggle of trying to quickly tape an episode of the “Dukes of Hazzard” and picking up the wrong VHS tape and taping over your mother’s soap operas by mistake. To this day when I record a program with my DVR, I refer to it as taping although there is no tape involved anywhere. That is always fun and a good way to confuse the kids. They record their shows. I tape mine.

Kids today will never know the frustration of talking on the phone to your friends and trying to stretch a 15-foot phone cord over 25 feet to reach your room to get some privacy.  These things may all now be ancient history but they bring back some good memories of a wonderful time and a wonderful life lived. 

However, as great as those times were, I have no desire to return to a time where I had to live off the dollar menu to survive. No, I like the me of today just fine. After all I didn’t get old on purpose, It just happened. If you’re lucky it will happen to you too. 

Jack Godbey is a resident of Danville and is a published author.