How aging changes your perspectives

I wrote this column for the Jan. 7 edition of the Town and Country. The T&C is the second section of the Westlock News, and every few weeks I get to write a column for that section.

I figured since I was getting to submit a column that would come out on my birthday, I may as well think about what it’s like to grow old and how your age determines how you view the world.

Enjoy.

As I get older, I start to realize with more clarity just how little this world resembles what I thought it was while I was growing up.

When you’re a kid, you generally only see the world as that which surrounds your home. In other words, your immediate neighbourhood is your entire world. Anything outside it is strange and scary.

You only care for what surrounds you, and those tales you may hear on the radio news make no sense to you as they’re so far away.

Yet, as you get older, you start to realize just how much the rest of the world affects your own life, even if it’s only tangentially.

And you also learn how little things that once seemed significant to your younger self are in fact extravagances that have no impact on you.

A good example of the former right now is all the happenings in the United States when it comes to their economic situation.

When I was younger, I would hear about what is going on down there and wonder how this affects me at all. I am Canadian, not American. Why should what they’re doing down there have any impact on my life?

Now, I’ve come to realize that this one country exerts influence over the entire world. I may disagree with the idea that one country’s internal squabbles can have such a wide impact, but it’s what our current situation is and it’s not going to change overnight.

As the phrase, uttered many times over by many people, goes: “When the U.S. sneezes, Canada catches a cold.” I think we need to bolster our immune system.

When it comes to the latter of my two realizations, we need look no further than the world of professional sports.

As we all know, the NHL has been in a lockout situation since Sept. 15, 2012.

While I am a huge Habs fan, and I follow them religiously, I can’t say I’m torn up about there being no NHL hockey this season.

Sure, I would like to see the sport return. But ultimately, with this being the second lockout that I can remember (I didn’t follow the NHL much prior to the 1998 playoffs), this one doesn’t make me feel like I’m missing anything.

Of course, not having the proper TV channels to watch many games also makes this lockout easier to handle, because it’s not like I’d be watching much hockey anyway.

So, instead of getting my knickers in a twist over the lack of Canada’s national winter sport, I’m going to turn my attention to this summer, when the newly reconstituted Toronto Blue Jays take to the field with arguably their best team since the World Series years.

Yup. Substituting one mindless distraction with another. Clearly I never learn.

Oh, and I promise I’ll complete my review of 2012 soon. I started work again today, so I’m a bit busier than I was a few days ago. So, keep checking back. Eventually something new will show up.

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