Thursday, August 20, 2009

<<< Another year older... >>>


We have a wonderful expression in English; 'Another year older-another year wiser'. This assumes that as we become older, then surely we must have acquired more wisdom. Of course to a degree this is true, but I have found that age holds very few rewards and wisdom may in fact be the only compensation, but even that is not absolute.

I recently celebrated my forty fourth birthday, which appears to have been a late milestone for me. Hitting middle age is not an easy point to arrive at. Normally around his fortieth birthday, a man will look back on his life and try to work out what he has actually achieved and done with it and assess his worth. He may experience a second wind of youth and vigour. Perhaps he will purchase a fast car or motorcycle. he may even seek out a much younger partner, with whom to relive his past passions. He may become aware of his fading looks and find himself looking at his remaining time on this earth with dismay and realise that the path ahead is much shorter than the one that lies behind him. Some men are lucky enough not to experience any of this, while others may not hit this stage until much later in life. Of course all of this is viewed from a male perspective. I can not and would not wish to speak on behalf of women, for the process would appear to be somewhat different.

Just before my latest birthday, I found myself looking at some photographs which were taken of me around twenty year ago. They were not special pictures. They were not taken for any particular reason, but now at this present point it all becomes so clear why those pictured were snapped. They now stand as reminders of just how much potential lay right there before me. The face is line less, the eyes are wide with optimism, the hair is flowing, the body is youthful. Yet at that moment I had no idea that all this was mine. It did not register at any point that this was my youth! At that time it was merely another day in my life and becoming middle aged was not even a consideration.

I think I'm a lucky person. From the point that I still do not look my age. I do not behave like a middle aged man and I certainly do not take many things in life very seriously (Besides unfairness) for someone six years from his fiftieth birthday, but I still find it hard to accept that I'm no longer in my prime and there are now many signs appearing to remind me of my slow demise into those 'twilight' years. The little red veins on my ankles, the hair loss and the gradual greying of what remains, not to mention the new hair which has started sprouting in the most odd places on my body! That terrible 'Ohhh!' and 'ahhh!' sound I make whenever I get up from the sofa or take that last step on the staircase. Maybe I'm over reacting and perhaps I'm exaggerating the situation, but I'm quite sure that many men find middle age more of a psychological battle than a physical one. It is funny to think back to when my father was the age I am now. I saw him as old and out of touch. I actually do not remember my dad ever being young. I think this is one reason why parents of a certain age find it hard to connect with their children.

During my time in China, I found myself being influenced greatly by many of my students, who possessed so much enthusiasm, optimism and vitality, in what were unpleasant surroundings that offered little in the way of a stable future. Looking back on that time I know that my life is not over. Youth is a good thing, but it is a mask and once it has faded away, then you are on your own in this world and only perseverance and a firm belief in yourself will pull you through the rest of the journey. I have learned to smile at the sun as it sets everyday and dream about tomorrow and all of its possibilities.

11 comments:

Irina said...

Hello, Duncan!
Where is your optimism?
All your words are truth, but not for someone who’s around his fortieth birthday, but for someone who’s around his sixtieth birthday!!!
Maybe are you expecting some complements from us?
Read all the massages from all your students and funs and you’ll find your answer!
---------------------------------

It was very good idea to show us some of your photos. I have always liked to watch family albums :)

Misterduncan said...

Hello Irina. This post is more of a reflection on a new experience, after all I have never been middle aged before. The post ends on an optimistic note. I'm not looking for compliments or needing good words from anyone. It is a strange feeling seeing your body slowly alter. A feeling of fear and fascination mixed together.

Thanks for the response.

Misterduncan 8-))

Ernesto Ferro said...

Hello Mister Duncan. I really admire you and I just wanted to say you that you have achieved what many great people search: leave a mark on the world.
I really believe that you have change the world in a sense. And I'm sure that many people are truly grateful for your contribution to the human knowledge and to their lives.
Maybe this isn't the best moment to say it but know that your contribution to the world will transcend you.

Thank you so much for everything!

Quy said...

Hi Misterduncan,
The Buddhists hold that we live and die every little moment of a second, and when we are a year older, imagine how many times we have died! All this means we should live to the full for the present. And I believe that you've been doing it everyday! Enjoy your new age, man!

Happy belated birthday to you!

Quy from Vietnam.

Franc said...

Hi! Mr. Ducan! It's a great happyness for me, know you.

You're a great person, God always will go protect you.

I thank you, from my deep heart for help me to learn your language.
I don't speak and write well, but I'm tryin'.

I'd like that you, if it possible record a video for me presentin' for my student, a message.

Franc Denys, in Feijó, Acre, Brazil.

it's so important to me!

Bye bye for now!!!

Ully said...

Hello Mr Duncan

You are an isnpiration for us. We look forward to much more in your big, bright future. Hope you will stay forever!!!

lots of love!!!

Cristina said...

Come on Misterduncan,
you are still a young person and I'm sure that the best has yet to come for you !
Luckily birthdays are only once a year :)
Ta-ta!

Irina said...

Hello, Duncan!
You answered to my massage and as you can see it had a positive result: there are a lot of responses to your post this time.
Now everybody knows that you really read all our massages!!! :)
I am sure that you are not looking for compliments, but I think that everyone needs to hear good words!
And you really deserve all this excellent words!!! :)

Diego said...

Greetings Mr Duncan. My name is Diego, I'm a great Brazilian fan of your YouTube's Channel. I've always tried to watch your lessons, I have been learning a lot with you. I want to invite you to watch my channel in youtube http://www.youtube.com/diexpress, and of course test my English. I expect don't be incovenient. And a Happy Birthday to you. Congrats Diego

The Dreamy Girl said...

hi Mr. Duncan ,

I swear to God you are more handsome now than before , i mean it . Mr. Duncaaaan i loooooove you so so so much , i put your picture in my MSN ^_^.

hi said...

Hello Mister Duncan

Thank you for your youtube which are very good and helpfull.Your method is a very useful and easy way to learn and practice english as well.

Thank you so much for everything.