Stuff I’ll Try Not to Do as I Get Older



As I begin my transition into the second half-century of my life, there are some things that… huh?  Whaddya mean, I shouldn’t lie about stuff like that?  Yeah, I know I’m supposed to tell the truth in these articles but that doesn’t mean I can’t fudge just a little once in a while, does it?  Not even just a little bit?  Once in a while?  Well crap!  OK then…


Having passed the half century mark some time ago (there… are you happy now?) I find myself thinking more about the years that lie ahead – and more specifically, about who I will become as those years continue to pile on.  Will I be just another old person?  Will I wake up one morning and find myself doing all those funny old people things that I’ve been watching over the past fifty… OK, sixty-six… years.  Maybe.  But I’ve thought about it and here are some of the things I’m going to work really hard NOT to do.


1. Make weird sounds every time I stand up or sit down.

Now I realize that I may not have a bunch of control over the strange pops and snaps that my joints produce from time to time – but I should be able to have at least some authority over the sounds that are rolling from my throat.  Know what I mean?  Just listen sometime to the weird noises older folks make when they change positions.  Ummmph!  Uhgggg!  Augggggffffff!  Ennnngh!  Unggggh!  I’m going to try not to do that.


2. Become so bored that I sit on the front porch waiting for a leaf to fall so I can totter out to pick it up off the lawn.

No kidding, I knew an older guy who did exactly that.  Every morning he would make sure his little lawn was absolutely leaf-free and throughout the day, he would diligently pick up every single leaf that fell from the trees.  OK, living in Phoenix, Arizona on a small lot with a half dozen orange trees didn’t mean he had to really scramble to keep up with the tree droppings so it didn’t occupy a bunch of his time.  It was his focus though.  I’ll try not to do that.


3. Tell the same story to the same people over and over and over and…

Yeah, we all have a tendency to lose track of who we’ve told what.  And it’s not just jokes.  It’s the significant events or situations that we’ve experienced over the years too.  The experiences and memories, that for whatever reason, we want to share.  I’ve known more than a handful of older folks – and a couple of younger ones - who seemed to continually push their replay button.  I’m going to try not to do that.


4.  Tell the same story over and… (just kidding)…


4. Develop a rigid daily routine and eating habits.

I’m sure you’ve all seen examples of this and not only in our older generations either.  It’s doing exactly the same thing at the same time day after day after day.  Up at six, breakfast at seven, read the paper until eight, watch “Mayberry RFD” until eight-thirty, etc., etc., etc.  It’s the same way with the meals.  Every morning – one egg over easy with toast and orange juice, lunch is always a small bowl of chicken noodle soup and half a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich…  BORING!!!  I’ll try not to do that.  (Tacos and chocolate cake for breakfast any one?)


5. Forget that I’m older than dust.

Two things here.  The first is not trying to accomplish the same things at the same pace I did when I was twenty years younger.  Mowing the lawn, trimming trees, painting, shoveling snow, lifting heavy stuff…  An older guy could pop something doing that.  So far I’m having no problem at all grasping this concept.


Second – remembering that even though on certain occasions when my brain is busily thinking thoughts of a twenty-year-old, my body is displaying all the signs of a pop-up advertisement for arthritis and incontinence medications.  Yeah, I’ll still look and enjoy the scenery wiggling by – but there ain’t gonna be many lookin’ back.  I’ll try to remember that.


6. Lose my sense of humor.

I understand, considering the usual aches and pains that tend to sneak up on us in our later years, that sometimes it’s difficult to just slap on a smile and press on.  And we’ve all seen our share of growly, grumpy, snarly old folks.  It seems to me that as we lose the ability to be productive or even to take care of ourselves, a good sense of humor may be the only thing we have left that is worth a hoot.  This is a funny world filled with strange creatures doing goofy things.  I’m going to try to remember to watch and enjoy them.  In fact, I’ll probably be one of ‘em.  I think you can count on it…




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