A friend asked this morning, “How are you getting along these days?”
“Just fine and dandy, couldn’t be better.”
I lied. But I truly could not put a finger on what I was feeling. Where was my head floating? Was I sad, depressed, melancholic? Or was I just lazy and unmotivated? Then, those thoughts that help us decide whether to get up and function or just lay around accomplishing nothing, yes those thoughts that are familiar to everyone, swirled through my brain and before I knew what was happening, I was engaged in a full throttle emotional crisis. What in tarnation is wrong with me?
I ran a few more words through my brain. Nope, not that. No, that’s not the problem. Well, maybe I’m just over-tired. Yes, I could be playing the control game again, I’m very good at that. And then like a bolt of lightning it hit me. I recognized what the problem was.
Irrelevance. I have another birthday next month and I realized how irrelevant I have become to society in year 2018. This old caveman from the 1960s simply does not like 2018. Oh sure, girl scouts still try to help me across the street and 50 year-old men call me sir.
“Sir can I help you, may I get that for you, sir?”
“Bug off, sonny, I ain’t dead yet.”
They are just being nice, but they don’t need me for anything. They still have a purpose in this world. My life has become….well, jaded and irrelevant. I want to go back to 1968 when life had meaning, when the future was bright and promising. Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix cranked me up every morning and the Doors put me to sleep every night. Life was good.
I don’t own a smart phone because I refuse to have a device that can make me swear like a sailor. I watch ads on TV for services and electronics about which I haven’t a clue. What’s that thingamajig for? My vehicle is a 22 year-old pickup truck. It has a key to open the door and start it, and a cassette player. The dashboard shows speed, RPMs, gasoline, oil, and voltage. Yes, they are the old fashioned gauges just like pop had on his car. If I should ever need to buy another vehicle I will need operational lessons to simply drive it.
My 8 year-old neighbor spied me talking on my flip phone and immediately turned to his mother, “He’s really old, isn’t he?” AARP has stopped mailing me applications for membership. The stores which I shop give me the senior discount without asking if I am a senior citizen. Out on the highway, younger folks pass by flipping me the bird because I’m driving the speed limit. I get phone calls from local funeral homes asking if I’m ready to prepay my final expenses. People automatically raise their voices when speaking to me thinking I’m just an old deaf man.
Yep, I’m irrelevant in this world. I haven’t left my mark nor have I made my fortune. There are no children nor grandchildren to aggravate me and my friends are moving into assisted living or rehab centers. Now, does anybody really think there’s any rehab going on in those rehab centers? Heck no! They put you in a bed aside a total stranger with a severe case of flatulence, they feed you food that Grandma would have thrown to the hogs in the pigsty, they make you participate in silly games or arts and crafts, and than you die. Old Mr. Irrelevant gets two or three lines in the obituaries, ashes get tossed in the ocean, and in about a month people will ask, “What ever happened to old man….ah, what was his name?”
Irrelevant, totally irrelevant. Unnoticed, unnecessary, unconnected.
Phew! Well, I’m glad that pity party is over. Was it as much fun for you as for me?
“Self-pity is one of the most unhappy and consuming defects that we know. It is a bar to all spiritual progress and can cut off all effective communications to our fellows because of its inordinate demands for attention and sympathy. It is a maudlin form of martyrdom, which we can ill afford.” Bill W. AS BILL SEES IT