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Gary Malloy

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As you mature are you changing? How? Better-Worse-Happier-Sadder

As a man in my mid sixties I often reflect on how I have changed and still changing. Grew up in a family of extremely modest means, married, divorced, raised four sons, built and sold two nice size companies, lived in five different states, traveled extensively, made and kept a few life friends, made and lost many friends and I am now a ten year (stage four) Head/Neck cancer survivor. These and the many day to day life experiences have evolved me into the current me. Am I happy with that? What do I need or want to change? What do I need or want to still do?

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      Feb 11 2013: ZX thanks for the reply. Looking at my children now I wonder where the time went and so many people do. I have never been one of those "I can''t wait for my children to move out" parents.
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    Feb 10 2013: I think no one but you can answer this.
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      Feb 11 2013: Farokh, did you understand it was a question? I know how I have changed and enjoyed doing it. I was asking how are you feeling about life as you evolve.
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    Feb 11 2013: When I think back, I am happier and calmer even though life itself has not changed. I think the more you go through life you experience and learn that problems are really not so big and you really can withstand changes. I look forward to the next part of life and learning whatever lessons there are for me to learn.
  • Feb 10 2013: I can't put myself in your exact cancer survivor shoes but I find myself (in my 60's as well) thinking I want to go out of this world in much the same way as I came in - ie without an ego - and this is tough to do. Why do I want to do this? I think it prepares me for what hopefully lies beyond this world by giving me some separation. I have begun by trying to give up any "scorekeeping" I may have been doing. I have also tried meditation to get out of my circular self dwellings about the past, and future. How am I doing? I will always be a work in progress - but that is ok with me. I do find myself reading a lot more books and expanding/working on my view of the world and the "after world". I don't have a "bucket list" - I have future things I am working on but if I don't get to them I think I am content with my present day to day routine. In summary trying to go ego less is driving my current life journey. Best wishes.
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      Feb 11 2013: Tom, thank you for the reply. I look at the cancer as just another thing that I had to deal with. Having said that when you daily have to think about your own demise it has a great impact. That impact was that so many things I thought were important we simply not. I like you do not have a scorecard anymore and wish I never had one. I choose very carefully how I spend my time. I never have been much for suffering fools. Being by myself is not being lonely, it is my quality time and I choose plenty of it. My family and a FEW close friends are plenty. Thanks again for honest and insightful reply.
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    Feb 12 2013: Mary, I stand corrected it is a general better than you attitude. My brother still maintains a home there other wise I would never go back. I live in Canton, Ohio where I was born and lived for 33 years, left for 30 years and now back home. A lot of people will tell you that Midwesterner's are boring. Well if well mannered, thoughtful and down to earth attitude is boring then I am glad to be home.

    Where is your friend in Ohio?
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    Feb 12 2013: Linda thank you for the reply. I am in complete agreement with you on all points. Stay well - be happy.
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    Feb 11 2013: ZX thanks for the reply. You could not be more incorrect if you tried. I have always been very close to my family. What I was trying (maybe not well) to convey was that the time with your children goes bye so very fast. I find it very interesting how different people interrupt things. Lots of the time it depends on their personal life or possibly the mood or day they are having.

    Thanks again for the reply.
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    Feb 11 2013: Loaded idea......

    It would be great for you to post it on here every 5 years or so.....and compile and compare our replies. LOL

    As time passes we change.....sometimes.

    I can't help but think of individuals I know that on the surface...appearance....continue to be the same.
    Same hair color....same haircut....same style of clothes....same personality....as they were 40 years ago.

    But of course, inside is where the real change occurs.

    Depending on our various experiences and how we reacted to them, we will all change in one way or another.

    Some people go through life and never go through a major disease, or war, or natural disaster or economic hardships.
    Others go through life, and experience all of these..

    There are happy old people, and there are mean old people, and there are resentful and bitter old people.

    I'm middle aged......but I always tell my elderly parents to be "happy old people"..........I am always reminding them that what I want most in my life are happy, jolly old folks.........to enjoy their golden years, and to drink up the love we all have for them.

    I think the way we treat the older members of our immediate family plays a very important role in their happiness.

    By the way, have you seen this TED talk:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/laura_carstensen_older_people_are_happier.html

    The comments below the talk shed alot of light into your idea.......

    Enjoy, thanks for your conversation topic. Have a great week Gary!!
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      Feb 12 2013: Mary M thanks for the reply and your insight to this ongoing topic of life. It would be interesting to see what 5 years from now brings. Goodness knows the last 5 were full of many surprises and changes. Stay well and be happy.

      P.S. I lived in Naples, Fl. for seven years as a full time resident and left to return to Ohio. The weather was wonderful but the people wore me down. So many mad, mean and generally unhappy older people.
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        Feb 12 2013: That is so interesting that you had a bad experience living in Naples.

        Of all the places I have travelled to around the world, Naples Florida is my least favorite.

        Like you said, although the place is beautiful, we also had issues with the people of Naples.
        The associates working in the places we frequented, as well as the personnel at the places we stayed at treated us as lesser human beings.

        We have never been back. And even though we have very good friends living there...... we just will not go back to visit.

        I think the mad, mean and unhappy attitude is not mutually exclusive to the older ones Gary......it's a general aura about the place....LOL

        I have never been to Ohio....but we have a pen pal who lives there.
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    Feb 10 2013: Well, Gary, are you happy? If you're not, it might mean none of us can get happiness, cause your life sounds very typical.

    I think you should ramp up even more whatever you like to do the most. (Assuming it's healthy). If you like to ski, ski more. Talk, talk more. Go to movies, go to movies more.
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      Feb 11 2013: Greg, thanks for the reply. I am very happy with my life. I still have a small company that keeps me active and I play lots of golf with close friends. My sons live out of state and they love where they are and what they are doing so I am happy for their happiness. Selfishly I wish they were closer. Thanks again.