My husband and I both love old movies, and there are some that we never get tired of watching. My husband especially likes watching old Westerns, which I do get tired of watching. Some of them make me silently groan and roll my eyes. Well, maybe I groan out loud while I roll my eyes.
Last week my husband was channel surfing when he came upon one of his favorite movies of all time, “The Outlaw Josie Wales.” He almost squealed with delight as he settled back to watch it. I groaned silently and rolled my eyes. Okay, maybe I groaned out loud. I asked him why did we have to watch it again? He replied, “Because it has some great lines in it.”
He would know, because he recited every single line out loud, in perfect harmony with the actors. Who knew his memory was that good? He entertained me by repeating every word that he thought I might have missed. I entertained myself by groaning out loud and rolling my eyes. Until a moment of magic occurred.
Josie’s aging friend sorrowfully lamented that it appeared that old age was creeping up on him. Without missing a beat, Josie replied, “More like old habits than old age.” Brilliant! I stared at my husband and he said, “I told you it had some great lines in it. It’s Feldenkrais!”
Old age isn’t a disease, it’s a process of reinforcing old patterns, making them even more difficult to interrupt and change. Sometimes it’s not old age that creeps up on us. It’s old habits instead. Getting older is inevitable; getting old is not. As long as we keep our minds open to changing old habits and learning new things.
Every day and every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow. As for myself, I learned a lot that day while we watched that movie. I learned to stop groaning and rolling my eyes. I don’t want to reinforce that pattern into old age. After all, who knows how many opportunities to learn I might miss out on?