My wife asked me an interesting question today – “Why do you not talk as much as you used to?”. Normally I just treat it like a rhetorical question, but for some reason, today I chose to answer it.
I am a pragmatic man, and know that my best productive years are behind me. I also know that my best learning years are behind me as well. Technology is passing by me faster than Haley’s comet, and new fangled toys hit the shelves at what seems like an hourly rate (rendering the “toy” you just bought obsolete), and my mind now has to cover 6 decades of memories, not just two or three. Our kids are grown and doing fine, and even the grandkids are hitting high school graduation age, so passing on “grandfatherly” knowledge is a limited effort. I am retired, so there is no work load to stimulate my brain pan, and no work associates to pass on my tales of heroism and failures. My wife, who has been my best friend (and patient as hell) has heard all the same gibberish a thousand times.
Today’s youth no longer care about wisdom passed down. Why should they? They can just say “Hey, Alexa…” and get all their questions answered without all the in-between fluff. Fireside chats have been replaced with a 10 minute text from an unknown entity followed by a rousing game of “fortnight” with 3 other people in other parts of the world.
My musical tastes are still somewhere int the 70’s and 80’s, I like watching reruns of “Cheers” and “MASH”, and would rather read “Grapes of Wrath” than “Harry Potter gets Potty Trained”. I can answer 50+% on Jeopardy, but 0% on this years “Teen Choice Awards”. I still wear Levi jeans and a t shirt with plain white sneakers, and do not define myself by what car I drive, so long as when I turn the key it goes “vrooom”.
What does all this mean? Does it mean I am feeling sorry for myself? Hardly. What it means is this:
I have nothing more to say. I am not in a bad mood when I am silent. I am not depressed. I am not thinking evil, diabolical thoughts. I just limit what I have to say to stuff that matters, and if that means talking less, than I guess it means talking less.