morning I woke up and thought that I was finally ‘Four score and seven years old’.
The same number that Abe Lincoln talked about in his Gettysburg address. I was
wrong, that would have made me 87 years old and I am only 67 as of today. So there.
There’s a lot to be said for getting older and having more birthdays.
The main thing is that you’re still alive. Any day above ground is a good day
for me. When I was a teenager I thought anyone 25 years old was really getting
up there. As I progressed in age my vision shifted higher and higher. You now
hear people talking about someone dying at 70 and often they say… ‘He was so young’.
90 is the new 60 as far as I’m concerned.
With age comes a new sense of
liberty and freedom. First off no one can make fun of you because you wear plaids
and stripes or shoes without socks. My thought is that if the shirt and pants
or blouse and skirt make you feel better….than go for it. Use some of those things
you were ‘saving’ for that ‘special’ day. You may not ever get another day. Do
it now. Use that stuff before it gets too old or you do.
I’m holding off
on buying hearing aids for as long as I can. One reason is that it gives me an
option on a multitude of things. I can choose to answer when I want to if I like
the question or I can choose to opt out and say I couldn’t hear the question which
gives me time to formulate a better opportunity for me. This comes in handy especially
when someone is asking you to volunteer for something. When you were 25, if anyone
asked you to come over next Saturday and help them move, you’d have immediately
said something like… ‘Sure, what time?’ Now you can fudge and ask what they said
which gives you an opportunity to back out with something like…. “I’d love to,
but I have to go the doctor to see about my (fill in the blank). Maybe next time.”
No one is going to ask you about your doctors visit later since they don’t want
to hear old people talking about their aches and pains.
older you get also brings you the ability to ‘voice’ your opinion with a greater
sense of authority. By the time you reach 60 or more, those around you seem to
sense or at least think you must have some sense or you couldn’t have lived this
long. It may just be blind luck that has kept you alive but the fact remains that
you’re still here and a lot of those in your high school graduation class aren’t
so what you think must have some relevance. I try to listen to the questions and
nod at the right times while looking very serious and pensive as if some earth
shattering comment is about to erupt from my mouth. Sometimes when I can’t really
hear the questions, I tend to nod off to sleep, but then that’s an accepted practice
as well so no one really cares.
The best thing I’ve found is the freedom
you enjoy when you go to the gym to work out. I recently started back after having
knee replacement surgery a couple of months ago. When I was younger I noticed
that you are more conscious of who is looking at you than you are at working out.
Your workout clothing had to be the latest style and color and you tended to suck
in your breath to hold in your gut whenever any females were around. Also you
ended up hurting yourself by adding or more weights than you could handle since
you would be embarrassed to let anyone think you weren’t strong enough.
I find that I wear whatever I want to, use the weights that feel good and that
I think are doing me some good without killing me. The best thing is that I am
on my own and totally oblivious to anyone around me. I don’t have to suck it in
or be macho on any of the machines. I can just do what I want without any outside
interference. Everyone is friendly and amazed that this old guy wants to stay
in shape as well. It’s a different mindset and one that I truly enjoy. The best
part is that I’m making progress and getting in better shape. It’s a shame it
took me this long to figure it out.
Oh well, live and learn. One day at
© Peary Perry
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From North America - August 12, 2009 column
in 80 newspapers
Online Magazine | Columns |