I am referring to old age – where your body and your brain have some moving parts that aren’t moving too well anymore. And sometimes are gone entirely. And some skills, which used to be valuable – aren’t valuable anymore. The world has gone on – and left you behind.
Any old person has to ask themselves (or should ask themselves) “What now?”
I am thinking of a man from my home town in Iowa that became successful in the Pentagon. He had no skills I knew of, but one – he knew how to rise in a hierarchy – and that skill took him far.
His wife, by contrast, who had married him because everyone told her he had a bright future – lost her mind.
He ended up with a full deck of cards – and she ended up with none.
There may have been a medical explanation for this – as everyone insisted – but I prefer an emotional one. He could flourish by being nothing – but she could not. If she became nothing – she became nothing.
He, on the other hand – was nothing, but appeared to be everything. And few people noticed the difference.