Settling down or wittling away the dead wood ?

Have you ever visited an ancient uncle or aunt of yours and when you entered their house/nursing home you feel transported back in time, sometimes stifling so ? Nothing has changed, the same clock is still ticking, the same sofa with the floral print that lasts a lifetime, the same smells, heck the same dust covering the ancient oak cabinet ?

They are still physically there, but they don’t innovate anymore, they don’t change. There’s (hopefully) nothing wrong with them, but they’ve stopped living, they’ve become zombies.

Becoming a zombie is not how I want to end life. I hope that if I become old, I’ll be like my grandfather, who died at the age of 103. Far into his nineties, he still managed (admittedly, with help from his daughters) to publish a newsletter, to create drawings, to think and reflect. His mental vision narrowed thereafter, but even then he still managed to think.

A friend of mine once said that people after their thirties settle into the personages they’ve created for themselves – ie they’ve been customising their worldview on how they should react to other people and events, and when they’re happy with what they’ve become, they become opposed to changing that world view and thus themselves.

I tend to agree that people want stability – up to a point. For me, it’s like a balancing act – you need both stability and change, in small or medium doses.

Too much stability and you have trouble accepting change, any change. Too much change too fast, and you just crave stability.

What is funny/sad is that my friend a year or so later totally changed his life – he quit his job, quit his girlfriend and went away to meditate on a mountain top in Spain (you know who you are, mate). I think that in the process he also hurt his girlfriend so much that she can no longer trust people (or perhaps just men, hard to tell since I’m a man). It seems he couldn’t take it anymore and felt it necessary to make those changes, but they not only impacted him alone. A case of too much change too fast.