Today is a holiday in Madrid. There must be a million people on the streets. There is a lots of military pomp, soldiers marching by the review stand near my hotel, and five planes flying overhead. The weather is beautiful and life is good. I am always delighted to have a day off when I am in a city to just experience ‘being here’. Madrid’s downtown core is beautiful—great old buildings, wide avenues, a magnificent palace with a living monarch, and a great ‘old town’ where you can almost get a ‘feel’ for the Spanish Inquisition. I like Spain a lot. If I were to live in Europe, it would be a toss-up between France, Denmark, England and Spain. These days, warm weather is winning.
One thing that I am noticing in my inquiry about age and ‘Eldering’ is that the populations everywhere see to be ‘age-intensive’. I don’t know why but in Amsterdam, Paris and London the majority of faces you see on the streets seem to be Boomers, while in Italy most everyone appeared to be under 30. In Spain, the numbers seem fairly mixed with lots of three-generation
families strolling the avenues. As I said, this is a holiday so it’s
hard to say what is normal. This demographic sampling may say more about tourists than the local populations, but it is interesting to note the proportion of gray hair in a given locale.
I am alone this weekend and noticing that I am enjoying relaxing with nothing to do. Usually I would expect myself to be anxious when hanging out alone, but the last few years I seem to be growing more content just ‘being’ without a lot of stimulus around me. I guess this is what it feels like to be comfortable in one’s own skin.
I am doing some writing on a book project about ‘Eldering’ and the deeper I get into it, the more it seems to me that successful aging is pretty much the same at every age—mostly about purpose, relationship, commitment and service. Everything else kind of takes care of itself. This might be a very short book!