Tonawanda News

Columns

November 2, 2012

Hustle, bustle and flow

Tonawanda News — The elderly, it is said, can navigate well in a world they are gradually handing off to the young, if they remember three pieces of modern lore: The world moves faster. Things cost more. Young people use foul language.

It’s the first one that hangs me (age 62) up the most. Mondays and Wednesdays feel the same, the weekends seem bunched more closely. Daylight is fleeting, but eleven to five are six hours of the day that feel like three.

Yes, I’m overscheduled, but so is everyone I know. I pity those with time on their hands, as I envy them.

Being politically liberal, I can blame society. Excuse me, Society. Garrison Keillor once properly pointed out we oldtimers, in Scotland, are required only to put on a tweed suit after dinner, visit the local pub and gripe about the government. Where I come from, there is suasion to put on a track suit, work out, serve charities, dote on grandchildren instead of the other way around, walk on the beach with some silver-haired babe, spend the money I allegedly saved up at restaurants and on recreational vehicles and generally strain to keep up.

Never mind my money. Time is the issue. The World Series, an important touchstone on my private clock and calendar, lasted just five days, and the relative lack of attention paid it by aforementioned Society reminds me of its eroding relevance to anyone but me and a few friends who, now that I think of it, make their livings in media and thus are paid to care. The end of baseball season, by personal tradition, means the start of hockey season, so ... oh, wait.

That thing on the calendar, six weeks away, comes up very quickly these days, as if it, whatever it is, is eagerly anticipated. The odd thing: people half my age say they are locked into that world-turning-faster phenomenon as well. 

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