"Come live with me; the best is yet to be. The last for which the first was made. . ." All you geezer guys and gals know the rest of the poem, or if you don't, you can always look it up on the internet. I would agree with poems if I could get up in the morning with hearing various joints complain, or I didn't take pills to replace essential functions my body used to provide free of charge: thyroid, for example. But there are benefits to growing older that kids don't enjoy or appreciate.
One is time to reflect if we choose to do that instead of watching TV or surfing the web. Blaise Pascal appreciated the importance of reflection in the Seventeenth century when he said "All of man's misfortune comes from one thing, which is not knowing how to sit quietly in a room." Pascal also invented roulette, so he wasn't an ivory tower philosopher all the time.
The second benefit of growing older, and it is by far the best benefit, particulary if you are a writer, which I am. That benefit is experience. Fifty-plus years teaches more about relationships and character than all the psychology or sociology ever taught. That's where us geezer writers have it all over those young whippersnappers. We can create well-rounded, realistic characters, whether we're populating our imaginative worlds with lovers, heroes, villians, or, gulp, teenagers, because we've been there, done that, and if we don't have the tee shirt to prove it, we have the physical and emotional scars.
We have experienced love, death, illness, war, giving birth, loyalty, betrayal, and everything in between. So when someone says he just wrote his first novel at the age of eighty, I want to read it. There may be spelling errors, grammatical goofs, and a few awkward sentences if that person has little practical experience at writing, but what there be in spades is life experiences, richer, more heart-wrenching, more real that what can be imagined without having lived a long life.
So if you geezer guys and gals are not writing a novel, at least write a memoir. Don't waste all that experience! Get with it!
D. R. Meredith is author of nineteen crime novels and historicals, book review editor ofRoundup Magazine for twenty years, as well as a former contributing book reviewer for the Amarillo Globe News, Texas Books in Review,and Kirkus. She is a speaker at conferences and writers' workshops. She lives in Amarillo, Texas, with her husband of "more years than either of us can count."