Oh, to Die an Idiot
March 9, 2020
"The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.'"
-- Albert Einstein
Oh, to Die an Idiot
Two football seasons ago, I was privileged to accompany my father to a UofM football night game in the Big House. I've been to countless of these games as a big fan of UofM football, but the only person who could match my dad's love for University of Michigan football would be my brother. Being that my dad and brother are such massive fans (seriously, HUGE fans) of UofM football, we've had season tickets to home football games at the Big House for many years.
I love going out to do anything with my dad; if we go together somewhere neither of us has ever been before, the two of us will wander around aimlessly but with purpose, reading every sign, grabbing every pamphlet, and attempting to open every door we come across. (And while our respective significant others do love our sense of wonder, they aren't as big a fan of the wandering, and the door thing is a deal breaker. If there's even a HINT that my dad and I have started yanking on doors or pushing a random button we came across, my mother and the Huzbo are off like lightning. As my mother so kindly puts it as she runs away from us, "You two can be the ones that get arrested!")
If my dad and I head someplace familiar, there is still always a sense of wonder (and wander), and you just never know what you may come across that's new in the familiar...but the wonder tends to veer towards the conversations my dad and I have.
Conversation with my dad is almost always some kind of adventure - we're either cracking each other up or trying to one-up each other with random facts each other knows that are just slightly better than the fact just previously mentioned - and the topics we cover range from Pago Pago, to how many different languages are spoken in the city of Novi, Michigan -
...I don't have an exact number to offer, but some of the most recent research shows that only 72% of the population of Novi speak English as their primary language so...Go Diversity in the Mitten! Woot!
- to having a deep chat about issues like violence against women and women's rights.
My dad is a CHAMPION for women and has been a loud voice for women's rights and women's justice for as long as I can remember. He is my hero.
On this particular chat on this particular day I was the one who began conversation, and I started talking about how weird it is to "get older."
Time to take a quick pause to allow time for the eye rolls that anyone one day or more older than myself is doing right now. I'm 36 years old since Halloween, 2019. Anyone older than that...I know you are eye-rolling...and I don't care. Why can't we all be free to complain about our own existence without having people attack you with their already-experienced oh-just-you-wait attitudes? My personal opinion? I know you're dying to know...lol (cue MY eye-roll, but for a good visual, mine is a head bob from side to side with a crooked and goofy smile that insinuates playful sarcasm.)
My opinion: I can complain about being 36 just like everyone else who complained about turning 36 who already did. Same goes for you who are just now 36 or younger - YOU are allowed to complain about becoming 36, or becoming any age (*gasp*) that's YOUNGER than 36.
I mean, come on... If there's anything, ANYTHING we as as humans have become really good at, no matter what age, sex, race, religion etc. you may be...just about all of humankind on earth has become very very good at COMPLAINING. That's where we can all find a connection with one another.
A final thought on this topic then I'm moving on --
-- maybe, just MAYBE we could work on finding some other action or belief that most of humankind can come together and connect? ANYTHING? I'll take something as simple as, "Puppies are cute" as our blanket connection statement. Anyone with me? Puppies are cute? ...no? (*crickets*)
*steps off soap box* ...time to move on. Thanks for listening to my rant. It was filled with nothing but love, I promise <3
So there I am at Michigan football stadium with my dad, walking around the stadium before the game and talking about getting older. And I tell him that as each year has passed thus far in my life, I've found that as time passes, I am constantly feeling dumber than I used to be.
I am someone who is CONSTANTLY looking for ways to learn and expand my mind. I'm almost too obsessed with TED talks, scientific and medical journals, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and the healing power of stopping to hug a tree every once in awhile, so I feel that at least on a yearly basis I can confidently say I learn a fair amount. Both from these things that I'm almost too obsessed with, but also learning things about myself...my husband, daughter, family, friends, human interaction in general...I observe and soak in human connection like a sponge.
With all this observing and learning I do...I truly and honestly feel like I'm getting dumber as the days/weeks/months pass. I learn from Chicken every single day, and every single day I know less about her, 5-year-olds in general, or what it means to be a mother and how to be one.
It's as though with every piece of new information that enters and settles down in the "stuff I know" quadrant of my brain, the rest of my brain comes to realize that there is an exponential amount of information about that one thing I learned that I DON'T know...and therefore, I feel stupider.
I tell this to my dad, and his response?
"Good! That's the way it should be."
I look at him with a confused look. "So basically, if I'm going to work off of your theory that my increasing stupidity is a good thing, then the older and older I get the dumber and dumber I get?"
My dad: "If you are on your deathbed and you think to yourself, 'Wow, I am overflowing with love in my life, but MAN, have I become so so dumb,' then you have lived a fulfilling life. If you die an idiot, you have lived your best life."
I go back to that all the time, and you should too. Let's all strive to be loved and loving idiots at the end of our lives - apparently it will be the BEST!