Ya know, trying to grow older without just adopting bitterness, cynicism, and sarcasm as your very identity, is so not for the faint of heart. Just saying.
People used to tell me that “growing older isn’t for sissies” and I thought they were talking about all their aches, pains, and health problems, because that’s what older people do. I thought they just meant the way you slide out of bed in the morning like you just got hit by a truck. The way you can injure yourself by sitting down wrong.
Turns out the physical pain ain’t nothing. Yeah, bring it on, it’s just a sign of life. You can eat physical pain and assorted undignified health problems, for breakfast. You know what women in the olden days use to do? Make tea out of iron nails. (That’s where we get the saying, “tough as nails.” (It’s really not a good idea to drink tea made out of nails, but when people were starving and anemic, steeping the iron out of nails worked, somewhat.)
It’s not the physical pain that is soul crushing, but rather the spiritual and emotional suffering. Sarcasm and cynicism are great defenses against pain, and we aren’t talking about the pain of creaky joints.
I’ve been nurturing my cynicism and sarcasm for a number of years. I’m not going to give it up entirely, but I do know it must be carefully regulated and aimed in the right direction. The Bible says in Proverbs, “A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.”
There is a very fine line between cynicism and mockery, and just becoming a full blown scorner and scoffer, as the Bible warns us about. Ha! I just call it being a grown up, adulting, but that isn’t true at all. Everyday we make choices about where our heart is going to abide.