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I grew up with the (mis-?) conception that older people were wiser. It’s probably because my granddad was. But then, he was always wise, so maybe he doesn’t count. I have come to realize that getting older is a lot easier than getting wiser.

I am notorious for plunging in and realizing afterwards that I can’t swim. I’m still flexible enough to stick my foot in my mouth and I’m pretty good at justifying chocolate for breakfast, and other such vices. There are days when I ask myself—will I ever stop making regrettable choices or saying dumb things? Doesn’t getting older at least come with a pass at some point where we no longer act foolish?

About getting older, I didn’t mind becoming an empty nester. (There’s a lot you can say / do when children aren’t in the same room.) I also didn’t mind becoming a grandma. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my granddaughter. I love when she comes to stay. I miss her the very moment after she’s gone clear through until she comes again. I like the PALS (Parents at Large) group we get together with once a month. (Though someone else in our house still grumbles about doing things with “our parents.”) I like that they are my friends—even if I am the age of some of their children.

Getting older is not a problem, even if wisdom doesn’t come automatically. What has struck me a bit like a rock in the shoe, is that just when I was comfortable thinking of myself as being “middle-aged,” someone decided I had already moved past that! This last week the teenagers  in our neighborhood determined to host a “Picnic in January” (scheduled in February) for the older folks in the area, and my DH and I got an invite. Yep, any vanity that maybe I’m not that old after all, or that maybe people don’t think I am, has gone up in smoke.

I felt I had gone over the hill, and I didn’t remember getting to the top. Welcome to the golden years, Susan. It’s time to get measured for that pine box.

The invite said, “Please come share dinner and some of your life experiences with us.”

I’m not sure what that meant. Do they think I’ve learned something along the way? Boy are they going to be surprised!

(I could tell them that the best way to prevent sagging is to eat until the wrinkles fill out. Or, “It’s the days you rush to the store without makeup that you’ll meet an old boyfriend, but then it won’t matter because he forgot his glasses.” And, “life is (don’t shoot the messenger), unfair.”)

There are perks about getting older.

  • Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either.
  • Kidnappers are not very interested in you.
  • In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.
  • There is nothing left to learn the hard way.
  • Things you buy now won’t wear out.
  • You know the lyrics (and sing along)  to elevator music.
  • Your eyes won’t get much worse.

I watched an older woman the other day who had silver hair and beautiful lines of experience on her face. I thought how she looked as if she was peacefully living until she could pass on to the next life. I want to depart from this life someday. When the time comes, I want to move on to that next sphere of living. And for most of us, that means we get old so that our bodies will wear out and finally let go so that we can.

In the meantime, would anyone mind if I spend a few more years being “middle aged?” And no worries if my memory’s not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory’s not as sharp as it used to be.

When the time comes, I’ve borrowed my motto: “Old age is an excellent time for outrage. My goal is to say or do at least one outrageous thing every week.” –Maggie Kuhn

 

When I read the next list, I didn’t know whether to be dismayed or glad that I knew what most of the titles used to be:

“Some past artists are revising their hits with new lyrics to accommodate aging baby boomers. They include:

  • Bob by Darin – Splish, Splash, I Was Havin’ A Flash
  • Ringo Starr – I Get By With A Little Help From Depends
  • The Bee Gees – How Can You Mend A Broken Hip
  • Roberta Flack – The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face
  • Johnny Nash – I Can’t See Clearly Now.
  • Paul Simon -Fifty WaysTo Lose Your Liver
  • The Commodores – Once, Twice, Three Times To The Bathroom
  • Leo Sayer – You Make Me Feel Like Napping
  • Abba – Denture Queen
  • Tony Orlando – Knock 3 Times On The Ceiling If You Hear Me Fall
  • Helen Reddy – I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore

One last bit:

For those of you who are not in denial of being a senior, here are a few senior texting and tweeting codes that might prove useful:

  • ATD: At The Doctor’s
  • BFF: Best Friend Fainted
  • BTW: Bring The Wheelchair
  • BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth
  • CGU: Can’t get up
  • DWI: Driving While Incontinent
  • FWIW: Forgot Where I Was
  • IMHO: Is My Hearing-Aid On?
  • LOL: Living On Lipitor
  • LWO:LawrenceWelk’s On
  • OMMR: On My Massage Recliner
  • OMSG: Oh My! Sorry, Gas.
  • ROFL… CGU: Rolling On The Floor Laughing… And Can’t Get Up
  • TTYL: Talk To You Louder
  • WAITT: Who Am I Talking To?
  • GGLKI: Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In
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