I keep contemplating life’s great mysteries. Stuff like how claws are so plentiful in restaurants and what happens to the rest of the crab? Well, it turns out that the answer to that particular question is simple. Fishermen break off the claw and leave the crabs in situ. Then the claws simply grow back. Male Crabs use their large claw to attract females. So this is coitus interruptus, until the crabs can get back signaling again. The things you learn about marine life on a €25 euro boat trip around the Rio Formasa in Portugal.
Growth Continues: In thinking about how some animals continue to ‘grow all the time’, it occurred to me that humans operate a somewhat more sophisticated version of this. We don’t learn anything new by continually doing the same stuff and going to the same old places. But when we try new things, outside our comfort zone, our development continues. It’s never too late to take up new interests and discover that, in the words of Dr. Leo Casey in the National College of Ireland, “learning can be seriously good fun”.
Mick Armstrong: If you were asked to name an astronaut, who would come to mind first? Neil Armstrong? Well let me tell you about another Armstrong. Mick Armstrong was my brother in law (he died just less than a year ago). When Mick gave up working at 75, he was getting a bit bored at home, becoming what he described as a ‘house hatcher’. So, he took up lawn bowls and played 3 times a week. I don’t think he had ambitions to make the Irish team, but he loved it. In similar vein, the first time I went skiing in Austria, we stayed in the same hotel as a 68 year old woman who was skiing for the first time. She said: “I wanted to try this before I get too old”. When I worked in the National College of Ireland a candidate applied to complete a PhD. Nothing too unusual in that – other than the fact that he was 87! We couldn’t support him; not because of his age, but we simply didn’t have anyone with the expertise in his specialist subject area. And just this week, I heard of a lady in Dalkey, sharp as a tack, who has recently learned how to text her kids. Not bad when you consider this lady is 102 years old (that’s not a typo) and the kids are all in their 70’s.
Central point: You are not a fixed commodity. You are a living, breathing and learning organism. Learning and growing make us fully human, alive and interesting. Nothing to get crabby about there!
PS Lighter Moment
Patient: “Doctor, I can’t stop singing The Green Green Grass of Home”
Doctor: “That sounds like the Tom Jones Syndrome”
Patient: “Is it common?”
Doctor: “It’s Not Unusual”
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