Thursday, September 17, 2009

over the hill

Years ago, when my youngest son was four years old, he was
enamoured by the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. It was
approaching the holiday season and he had watched the Muppet
film version umteen times. One afternoon, as a manor visitor was
leaving, he playfully called out, "Bye, old Scrooge!" This particular
visitor, being none too amused, gave him an icy scowl and hastily
stomped out of the manor. I was mortified.

"Punkin, why did you say that?"

"I thought it would make them laugh."

Well, sadly, this person certainly didn't laugh. But what a different
scenario it might have been, if they had. There is an innocent honesty
in the thoughts and actions of children. Many times they can assess a
certain situation to a tee. The funny thing is, this person was close to
the age I am now. Heavens to murgatroyd, I can't imagine a small
child sizing me up and comparing me, of all people, to Scrooge.

There is something absolute in the old adage, "you are as young as
you feel". Happiness is a choice. There is much to be said, in my little
book, for emotional riches. No matter how far on the other side of the
hill we might be, we can make a choice, like Scrooge finally did, to be
youthful in spirit, bringing warmth and generosity to those around
us.



May you be happy in the life you've chosen.
.
(Alice to Ebeneezer Scrooge)
A Christmas Carol
by
Charles Dickens

73 comments:

  1. I don't know about you, but I'm not over the hill. My feet are firmly planted on this side!

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  2. I certainly don't think of myself as "over the hill", either. The problem is that others do consider me, and others over 50, "over the hill", and this has caused serious problems re: finding a new job. Rant coming in my own post tomorrow.

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  3. Age and character are as distinct as apples and oranges. I'm sure your son didn't think "Scrooge" because your visitor was old - right? Cuz he could just as easily have called him Santa.

    Our culture is so virulently ageist. I'm committed to growing old with love and appreciation for its blessings.

    I love middle age much better than when I was a young hottie. Onwards and upwards towards age 60! Yeah!!

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  4. You're exactly right, Reya, it wasn't just because the person was old! (and they weren't really old anyway, only mid 50's at the time)

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  5. Young in spirit helps keep you young and agile. If we think we are too old to do stuff, our bodies will oblige us.

    Like Reya, I'm having a better time now than when I was young.

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  6. I liked young a lot, and certainly seemed to get less tired.
    Middle-aged not too bad either, but why have I got creases in my forehead?

    I always rather liked Alistair Sim as Scrooge, even before he got good.

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  7. I am always amazed at how easily children capture the essence of a person. I suppose it is the innocence in them that is more attuned to an individual's nature.

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  8. I'm over the hill and maybe picking up speed on the other side. Woohoo. I notice so much more and so much more intensely than when I was under the hill.

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  9. I am not over the hill, I haven't for to the hilltop yet.

    When I was much younger I tended to compare real life characters to those in stories my Mother read to me, or later than I read myself.

    I probably would have laughed with your son and made things a thousand times worse.

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  10. Out of the mouths of babes!

    Keep moving, keep up with it, don't worry about how others perceive you.

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  11. I enjoyed reading the adventures of Mr. Scrooge. lol

    ALSO, noted the comment at the top. I have yet to meet anyone alive who said they were anxious to leave here and go to wherever the "other side" is. You would think if they were certain about the trip they would want to make it sooner than later. But then I have been there and while I didn't want to come back here, I had to.

    Oh yes, Roy said it... Those old folks over 50 are over the hill to the young and immortals but even 70 is young and restless at least to me.

    Thanks for the visit and comment about the bastards.

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  12. Hello Willow,
    You won the giveaway on my blog, so please contact me at:

    mkfarmchick104@gmail.com

    Also, I don't think middle age is bad at all. I take my time through life and think much more than when I was in my 20's or 30's.

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  13. What hill? There's a hill? Well, heck, get me a pair of skis!

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  14. me, too! the hill is so tall that i can't even see the other side at all!

    one of the things i love most about hanging out with kids is that funny things they say. they make me feel so alive and young and happy!

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  15. I still think of myself as a whippersnapper. But at 45 I guess not, huh? My body has decided that it's much older, but I'm working on that - I really do believe that you're as old as you feel!

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  16. I love how Scrooge's words, "I'm too old and beyond hope! Go and redeem some younger, more promising creature..." turns into
    "Can you forgive a pig-headed old fool for having no eyes to see with, no ears to hear with, all these years?" (my very favorite scene!)

    And yes, as you can tell, the movie plays a lot in our house! ;)

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  17. Farmchick, wow!! This is such fun news!! Thank you...I'm popping right over...

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  18. Betsy, I love that scene, too, in the Alastair Sim version, and being the blubbery girl that I am, cry every time I watch it.

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  19. Oh the Alistair Sim version is my favorite Christmas Carol... when he does his "I'm as giddy as a school boy" he is irresistable!

    I think your son's comment is a riot. I'd have laughed!

    As for being over the hill, at 57 I guess I am ... so now I can look forward to an easier trip on the other side!

    Cass

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  20. Found this and thought it funny. "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing"~~ George Bernard Shaw. Age is just a number after all. And I agree with Reya..middle age is so much better!

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  21. "May you be happy in the life you've chosen."

    What can I add to that? That is a perfect thought!

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  22. I felt over the hill at 22.

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  23. lol. i dont think i want to be scrooge either...a beautiful thought you end with...and it is a choice...we make every day.

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  24. Goodness, I can't believe when I still run into "older persons" who are so cranky. I always thought that when we get to be of a certain age, we'd be more enlightened!

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  25. willow my wife turned forty seven today. i'm fifty two. i am also twelve, a few hundred years old - it depends on the situation. she feels old she says. why? i ask. because forty seven is old. she replies.oh no. how do i convince her of what i believe? that the number is for record keeping purposes and connects to very little else in our experiencing of our time here. have a peaceful evening. steven

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  26. Well, Happy Birthday to Mrs. Steven!! Hope you and yours are enjoying a lovely birthday evening!

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  27. Another neat post! I'm thankful to be on the hill and not in the ground. I have slowed down and I have found that is a good thing in many ways. I see more that I rushed by when I was young and all frisky. I always get a kick out of people that know how old you are and you're older than them and they start whining about being so old. Of course, the same thing happens with weight. "Oh my, I have 2 pounds to lose" Well, bless your heart. If the man didn't laugh with your son he probably was crabby and like Scrooge.

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  28. Willow, neither am I for one must be willing to climb up that hill, in the first place. And I don't feel like hiking...ever!HA!

    And Roy makes a good point...

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  29. Age is just a number. Mine is 66. Well past middle age, unless I plan to live to 132. While I miss the youthful body I once had, I really, really love the place my head has gotten to.

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  30. Here here!
    I fear words, said to oneself over and over again, have more power than we could ever imagine.

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  31. We have choices, so choose wisely.

    It is amusing what young children say with their innocence.

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  32. Wow! I check out your site, and there's this big picture of Alistair Sim! I hope I never get as bitter as Scrooge. Finding you all, has brought some happiness in looking at all the creativity you have! In the words of William Shatner, in "The Wrath Of Khan"... I feel... YOUNG!!!

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  33. Willow, you are going to truly love Garden & Gun. It is at once Southern and yet universal with its distinctive writers and varied topics. I have at least three post topics outlined that I wanted to share from this publication.
    I know it sounds a little out there....but the latest issuej ust arrived last week, and I read the most hilarious true story of a good ole boy croquet champion...just you wait, girl!!

    Oh ya'll can stop worrying about aging, bloggers surely live forever!
    If I were one of the book people in Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451.....I would have to be
    A CHRISTMAS CAROL
    "I will honor Christmas in my heart and keep it all the year...I shall live in the past, the present, and the future. The Spirits of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach! I say it on my knees, Jacob Marley. On my knees."

    "And so as Tiny Tim observed, God bless us all....everyone."

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  34. I don't exactly like looking my age, but I do love being my age. You couldn't pay enough money to go back to my 20's.

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  35. does remind me of a time when my mother in law rang... and my son who was 3 at the time answered the phone and said "oh hello nana, dad thinks your a dick head...."

    I fell through the floor...... that was 20 years ago... bet she has never forgotten it.

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  36. May you be, indeed! Great story about your son. Kids truly do say the darndest things, don't they!? I'm always a bit nervous around people without a sense of humor, I admit. I think it's the quality I most enjoy in others. I don't FEEL like I'm over the hill, but I might just be, after all! I figure--if I AM, then that means it's all downhill from there! Can't be so bad, eh?

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  37. Two beings you can never fool: children and animals.
    Your "punkin" was wiser than he knew.
    And Alastair Sim is the best Scrooge!!!

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  38. Somedays I think I'm running downhill - too fast.

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  39. I was talking about the funny, honest things children say to my daughter's preschool teacher. She said one of the children in her class said to her the other day. "When my Daddy wakes up he does the most enormous farts." Now she can hardly look at the guilty person. It makes me fret over what Daisy might have said about me! Daisy loves the Christmas tale. Sadly she has only read the Mickey Mouse version and so when she comes to read Dickens she is going to think the master was copying Walt Disney. xx

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  40. Willow,
    My grand daughters have shown me how smart and intuitive children can be. Their lessons have taught me to seek a more carefree attitude towards the day.
    rel

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  41. I live in my body. Exciting story every day:)

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  42. Wise words Willow. And I say this as one who likes to think that he is still in the foothills just approaching base camp.

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  43. I love Alistair Sim.

    I feel young some days but not today - my back is killing me and that's something I never used to complain about when I was 20.

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  44. My Mother said I had a habit of asking her afternoon tea guests to tell me the amount of money they had in the Bank -she was very embarrassed. I was about 5 at the time, I'm now 53 & not much has changed. All I ever seem to do these days is ask our guests how much money they have left in their Retirement Fund.
    Millie ^_^

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  45. Scrooge Before or Scrooge After? Being called Scrooge After would be a huge compliment.
    Light as a feather, happy as an angel, merry as a schoolboy . . . youthful at any age!

    Scrooge Before is the one we remember, but Scrooge After is a great role model.

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  46. Excellent anecdote and your photo of Alastair Sim caught my eye immediately. His version of "A Christmas Carol" has been a family ritual since my husband was a young boy. My sons LOVE that version and they've seen them all. It's true. It's like Hubble Gardner says to Katy in "The Way We Were"..."If you'd only laughed." Humor is the anecdote to pain.

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  47. Kids can size you up in a heartbeat! It would seem that your son son sized this man up as one who NEEDED to lighten up and laugh!
    The fact that it didn't set well with the vistor says to me that son, was right and Hit The Nail On The Head! :)

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  48. Children are far sighted and quick on the draw. Happy TT. -J

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  49. kids are dead on...i'm getting that all the time with my little cherubs. i'm constantly mortified but they make for great stories! wonderful post...I choose happiness!

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  50. Hello Willow,

    Wasn't Alastair Sim wonderful? He could be wickedly funny or wickedly evil! Im sure there's a touch of the unreformed Scrooge in most of us; some are just a little more adept at keeping him at bay!

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  51. Being "over the hill" affords me the time to revisist some of the things I missed out on as I was rushing through life to get to where I am now. I'm loving it.

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  52. Fortunately...imagination and creative have no age...

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  53. what a delightful lovely boy!

    Great thoughts for the theme!

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  54. I haven't even reached the bottom of the hill yet, willow - so shall be a long time climbing up it.
    And yes - out of the mouths of babes often comes great wisdom.

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  55. Happiness is most certainly a choice!!!
    I love that and you ARE, my dear, firmly on the RIGHT side!

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  56. A wonderfully inspiring blog Willow....thankyou.
    Hill, what hill? is my credo. I agree with the comments re; ageism..we baby boomers just aint going to stand for it....whatever 'it' is.......lol.

    ps, I love Alistair Sim, such a wonderfully mobile face and superb speaking voice.

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  57. Wow - BEST blog on the theme I have read today! KUDOS and so true!

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  58. Oh you're such a wise woman. If we all agree that age and character are wonderful things, why is there such discrimination against us. Then again, I know plenty who are indeed over the hill and very disparaging of today's youngsters, remember they'll be paying for our nursing home bills so be nice to them!

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  59. Alistair Sim. A great actor.

    Children have an uncanny knack of catching what we adults can so easily miss. It's as though they pick up the aura / spirit of the person they are interacting with. All children have it - it's just that as we grow older we tend to 'use' it less or not at all. Some of us manage to keep it. My mother used to say mine was my 'sixth sense'. My daughter says it's because I'm a witch!! I have a really, really nice daughter!

    Age is just a number!

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  60. Heavens to murgatroyd indeed!! Your son was right on--the old guy needed a good laugh! Precious story and wonderful post!

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  61. I, too, have said the odd indiscretion... aged 30 something. So, imagine when I was a child. Message to that man: Grow up! Or rather, never leave your inner child behind.

    Greetings from London.

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  62. I love how uplifting your posts always are. I need the reminders... :)

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  63. Hi! Willow,
    This post has a little of everything...word of a youth, one person reaction to ones age, reflecting, choices, changes and finally, words of wisdom...by Alice to Ebeneezer Scrooge.

    Thanks, for sharing!
    DeeDee ;-D

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  64. Oops!...Pardon me I meant..."words of a youth.."

    DeeDee ;-D

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  65. I laughed out loud when I read this...I would never think of you as over the hill...And about the Scrooge comment, I've always said children and dogs have the most amazing ability to know one's character:-)..

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  66. I have been the same age inside for decades--old! hahahaha.

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  67. When my daughter was five; we also had a visitor. Our visitor was black.

    My daughter, not having encountered a black person before- mistakenly thought that they might speak another language so she said, in her most clear and slow voice, raising it just a little as if the black person could be deaf also:


    "BROADWAY FORD!"

    The black man who owned the car dealership on T.V. was all she knew about black people! I thought that was pretty creative.

    (I, actually, am married to a black man now- bless her heart.)

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  68. Chick, that is FUN-eee!! Just priceless. You can't beat children for innocent humor.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)