The Tumultuous Tribulation of Middle age and Olympics re-visited
Do some of you also get a feeling that everything has been said and done? Perhaps this comes with getting older or being tired. Still, while observing the young at play, I see the phenomenon of boredom and ennui on them as well. That of course is really tragic. They are the spiritually dehydrated and they might well spend the rest of their lives not doing a great deal, or perhaps just staring deep into cell phones retrieving missed calls and accessing dated message banks…They seem steeped it what was. You might see them around the exits of shopping malls, listlessly hanging around and will only give the mobile phone a little rest to re- hydrate with a slurp from the Coke bottle or a suck on their cigarette…Teen-age mums rocking the prams.
For others, it comes with getting old and tired out. A sameness settles in like a heavy horse blanket or cloud of mist. We also get a bit tired and what used to come effortless now takes much more determination and chutzpah. The chutzpah is starting to fade and wane. For many though, they never seize to grab something, anything, and keep on being enchanted and energized by what they still might discover. They are lucky to have been born with a seemingly unending spirit on rediscovering the wonders of life even if those wonders have been visited at some earlier time or gone a bit stale. How often can you keep getting excited about ‘beef with black bean sauce?’
I have definitely reached middle age. I’ll be generous and include middle age anywhere between fifty and seventy five, with old age perhaps following from there on. Perhaps not even then. I might even get milder, kinder and extend middle age till a very mellow eighty! I am flexible. I get cranky when I hear kids say; oh mum, I am bored. They always say this with the ‘muuummmm’ being drawn out in a kind of winging howl. Clever mums know it is blackmail and will give them a resounding smack. “There, here have a good smack; this will give you something to be bored about.” And now, bugger off. Go to the park and assault somebody.
In my time parental smacking was taught from an early stage and it did no harm. In fact, it is only since its abolishment that many kids have become totally unmanageable except through parents giving in to their demanding whiles. We load them up with games and consoles that connect to a TV. This has the opposite effect and ends up hyping the kids to hysterical levels. Soon there will be footprints on the ceiling with high pitched screaming renting the air. Grandmother knew very well that fish –oil was the perfect answer to hyper-active kids. A spoonful of cod-liver oil with a good smack and it was sweet dreams afterwards…
A measure of life’s ennui and the unsettling feeling of having just about done or experienced all is my total lack of interest in the London Olympic Games. Sure, it’s hardly proof of ‘having done everything’ being interested in a rather dull affair but I could not even kick start myself in watching footage of the opening ceremonies, no matter how spectacular or how high the fireworks were supposed to go. I am now much more intrigued in the progress of my daffodils, watching millimeter by millimeters of growth sprouting above ground level. At least there is proof of something positive going on. Mind you, since my basket ball days, playing for Scarborough some 50 years ago, I haven’t been able to get into sport at all. I don’t mind others playing or watching but I belong firmly in the totally indifferent to sport or their persona and make a point of always dramatically chucking out the sport section of any newspaper.
Some years ago, the spectacle of the Sydney Olympics and the games in Greece, I still watched segments especially the openings which were works of high theatrical art. But this time the aura around sport seems to be one of ‘old hat’. I am not the only one. Many are also yawning when the Olympics are mentioned, seats remain empty and the fervor of the games seems to have lapsed in indifferent stupor with many commentators falling over themselves with negativity. It seems to have passed its peak, like the mini skirt of years ago.
Has the Olympics had its day and what will it be replaced with?