January 25, 2021


I write about this because I have  first hand experience. My father is the most difficult and unhappy old man.  He lives in a retirement community, and I have always tried to help him and visit him as often as possible, in spite of his own self-destructive actions and bad attitude! Can you say… GRUMPY OLD MAN!

   Here is my take in general on men getting older. A mans identity is completely wrapped up in what they did for a living or their careers. Once this is gone some of them never accept the change in their being. An identity crisis, and a feeling of being less relevant to the world stays in the forefront of their minds.  Men for the most part do the same thing throughout their entire life, and they hold steadfast to their old way of thinking… so adapting to change is difficult. Think of it this way; my father has always been a “fix it” handyman and now at 81 he is not able to physically do the things that made up his total identity, and  boy is he grumpy about it! This is not an excuse for his actions.

       I understand  my fathers frustration but it is a process that one must work through… although I have doubts that he will ever get there. I say know your limitations and be at peace with them! Also as we get older, we must keep an open mind to the changes occurring  around us. Whether we like it or not, the world is constantly changing. When we refuse to change our  way of thinking in a world that is ever-changing, then and only then do we become not only “old”, but less “relevant” to the world we still live in. I pray that my wisdom of this fact will make me more comfortable with the changes that will come in my life as a result of  getting older. So the next time you see  a grumpy old man, just know that he is probably living in a world that no longer exist, and above all….”feed him with a long handle spoon”  cause when he bites, it hurts!

     Now one might ask why singled out men? I am sure some of us could give examples of some grumpy old women, but it is not the “norm”, and here’s why…  Women spend their lives doing several different things, changing roles often. Whether it is a career, then raising the children, volunteer work or anything that changes what they do in their lives. These constant role changes help them adapt to change with greater ease. Getting older for women seems to be just another phase of living. And I must say I have never heard the phrase “grumpy old women.”  Just pondering my perspective! Stephen Spurling

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