Old people are the greatest. I'm blessed enough to have lived for 20 years surrounded by them. I spend most of my time around my grandparents. I enjoy hearing the stories of their younger years. I enjoy my grandmother's cooking. Most importantly, I enjoy the lessons I take from them.
Being old must be very difficult. Your bones ache, you get dizzy, and you just don't have the energy that you used to; this is my assumption of what it's like to be old. Now-a-days, my grandparents don't get to do much of anything. My great-grandmother spends most of her time putting puzzles together and watching NASCAR races. My grandmother enjoys playing old school solitaire with her physical deck of cards instead of using the computer program; crazy right? Retirement sounds beautiful, doesn't it?
I think the beautiful part of it is that my grandparents finally made it. They may be old and crumbling, but they made it to the point in their life that they can finally take a breath and relax. Looking at them, I envy that they can do this every day. They put their time in, and now they can enjoy it. This is at least what I try to think of when I'm working 40 hours a week on top of being a college student. I'll eventually get there one day, too. At least this is what I used to tell myself to ease my mind until my grandmother showed me differently.
Every time I go to her house, she feeds me, gets out a blanket so I can take a nap on the couch, and throws a 20 in my pocket to "buy myself a pizza during the week". By her doing this, I learned the most important lesson of being an adult; don't forget to take care of yourself.
My grandmother explained to me that when they were growing up, it was a different time. They were able to have any job and pay their bills. They didn't need to work a full-time job while going to school just to afford to eat. They knew how to relax and have fun. There wasn't the economic and societal pressure there is today to go to college, work 2 jobs during college, get a real job just to pay off college, to raise children who go to college, just to see the cycle repeat itself. It was a much simpler time with three basic rules; get enough sleep, eat enough food, work hard enough.
Today, we certainly have the working part down, but we have let it control our lives. Some of us put so many hours in a day that we forget that we need to eat 3 meals a day and get at least 6 hours of sleep. I don't know if I know anybody my age who actually does these things. We live our lives on the go, and it's killing us.