Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Won't Grow Up

Milestones are important. Living here in Sturbridge I've hit a few of them. Earlier this month, I hit another, and the AARP just won't give up on me.

I really believe that age is a state of mind. We are the product of our environment at the age of two, and at an advanced age like the one I reached earlier this month.

When I hear stories of men not growing up, or acting like a kid, I can relate. Usually those stories are told by middle aged women with their faces are whizzled up in a knot, clutching their handbags across their chest, and impatiently tapping their toe on the floor. Not a sexist statement, just an observation.

I don't know why, but it is true. Yes, men may gain a great deal of grown up success, look good in a suit, and become a wonderful fixture in the community, but if you get a bunch of them together, show them something shiny, that runs by remote control, bounces, or blows up, they immediately untuck their shirts, and start frolicking in the dirt.

All it takes is the right trigger. ATV's, trucks, baseballs, Frisbees, fishing poles, model rockets, hunting season, classic cars, lawn tractors are all triggers. We shed the uniform of grown-up-hood, and immediately become the dirty, ten year olds with frogs and rocks in our pockets, and an intense urge to pull a pig-tail. Put an grown man on a lawn tractor, and he will be careful as all get out, but look away for just a second, and he will leave rubber on the driveway, and then give the classic "How'd That Happen" look.

I invented that look. Still use it. Even at work.

Our environment does regulate how old we act. If we hang with people our age, that are reading Modern Maturity, demanding their Senior discount in the line at the store, or thinking about taking the Blue Hair Express to see the foliage in the fall, we will start wearing our pants up around our nipple line, and "safe shoes".

It's a scientific fact. I'm a nurse, I know this stuff.

However, if we allow people younger than ourselves to take an active part in our lives, be it at home, or at work, our heads will stay young. That, too, is a scientific fact. We've all heard the expression, "They keep me young". It is true.

Mentally, there is no time I feel older than I did 35 years ago. Physically, I feel great. I do look as old as dirt as one of my young patients told me a few years ago, though.

With everything being relative, and the way I think and feel, I have approached this milestone, and handled it quite well.

I will not grow old, for the sake of it being the thing one must do. I will act and feel as I do at the moment, not as I should for a man my age. I don't like following "rules", especially when they come to getting older.

There is something positive to be said about Peter Pan Syndrome.

Lyrics | - I WON’T GROW UP lyrics

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