An Important Word for Growing Older (versus Getting Old)


by Walter Boos

A key word for us to understand, ponder, and demonstrate as we grow older is the word resilient (ience).  The definition of resilience:

The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

Infant/toddlers learn to walk by REPEATEDLY standing up, wobbling, taking a step, falling down and then GETTING BACK UP.  They keep trying until they get it right.  The thought of quitting because something didn’t go right does not enter their mind.  They are demonstrating resilience.

My wife Paula and I just returned from Mexico, where we spent 10 days with some of our adult children and their friend, significant other, and spouse.  Upon arrival we had multiple cases of rooms not being ready, staying at neighboring resorts, difficulties in gaining access to each other’s facilities, long waits in taxis while hotel staff figured out how we could get together, etc.  Paula and I were concerned that our kids would say to themselves “This isn’t worth it. We’re not doing this again.”

To our delight we all snapped out of it.  We could have stayed in a place of despair and frustration but we didn’t. We recovered from the myriad of travel kinks and were able to laugh together about our unplanned misadventures. This is best represented by the text message that accompanied some photos our daughter sent to the rest of us:

“Footage of some of the high quality fun that was had in between check ins, check outs, and taxi waits.”

We all know people who have just “gotten old”.  They want everything to be predictable, with little or no possibility of something “going wrong”.  Their world gets smaller, they may not be interested in traveling or seeing/doing new things.  Too many possibilities for error.

We also know people who seem to get better with age, and they’re a delight to be around.  More than likely they have figured out how to exercise resilience.  If something doesn’t go quite right they bounce up and have another go.

How about we all recommit to resilience?  Our world can stay big, with countless possibilities for adventure.  We can live, love, and learn – demonstrating what it means to recover quickly when things don’t go as planned.

Walter Boos