Reflections on getting old

Observation #1. After turning 70, just for fun, try NOT reflecting on getting old. Can’t be done. Firstly, getting old makes itself known all the time – once you hit 70. 70 is a big year. You just naturally reflect on getting old rather than trying to deflect it.

But, I have to admit, getting old is, well for me, getting kinda old. I am bored of it. Been at it for five years now. And others my age aren’t helping much. It seems to take nothing before a group of best-before-dated oldies start to discuss all their ailments and pains. By the time the conversation gets going several have nodded off and I just wander away. Old age is just NOT that interesting.

Observation #2. Oldies also talk of ‘popping off’ or ‘buying the farm’ or ‘leaving this mortal coil’ a lot. Which, I suppose, is mentally healthy but, upon (that annoying habit of) reflecting, must have another purpose…I think… Some really old geezers I know always want to discuss their ‘going away’ as if planning and discussing are their way of accepting it….? Or maybe they just want a party?

At first, I used to just say to them, “Oh, Hell, man, sure you are old and decrepit but you’ve been old and decrepit a long time. Since your early thirties, actually. I am sure you are still just half way along some old, boring and dusty road. Discussions of your imminent termination are premature. Hell, you can still buy green bananas, take out a mortgage, date some young thing and pick out baby names. Buck up!”

But that wasn’t always quite the right thing to say – especially if they were in hospice or otherwise utilizing more tubes than just a CPAP machine. I was not as sensitive to the topic in the past, perhaps, as I should have been (too late now to fix some of those discussions I am afraid). I must confess to empathizing more these days even if I am a bit late.

Observation #3. God. God comes up now where, before, God was just some silly church-invented concept that smart people rejected as a crutch for sheeple believing in fairy tales. Today? Not so much. The biggest converts in my social circle are my Jewish friends. They were all so very hip and intellectual when young. They were non-Jews, modern Jews, Reform Jews, Atheists and newly practicing Buddhists who saw the light in yoga. Now, well, Synagogue is on the weekly schedule. So is Shabbat dinner, and a lot of old rituals have gained a place for them between doctors appointments.

That is also kinda true for my Asian friends who, for reasons unexplained are now attending Protestant churches. When asked why, the typical response is, “Well, you never know. Best to spread your bets.”

The white guys haven’t changed much. Still heathens, pagans and barbarians although there is the occasional reference to the Great Spirit or the Spirit Bear Rainforest or some kind of gobbledygook. Gaia comes up now and then amongst the few ex-hippies.

My indigenous friends don’t talk at all about it but they do kinda listen and roll their eyes and walk away looking for a drum to beat or something.

Me? Oh, I have been a believer in something unifying for a long time and so there’s nothing too new for me on that score. Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek) envisioned a great spiritual pool into which your eternal essence (soul) was eventually poured to mingle amongst the trillions of others and I like that image.

Observation #4. I am getting ripped off a lot. No one is really cheating me directly. The fault lies with me. I have been eligible for senior’s discounts for twenty years in some cases. Definitely for the last ten years. I just never ask. I just don’t think about it. It’s irritating…in the same way NOT winning the lottery is irritating. I never buy a ticket but, damn…..

Observation #5. Sleep. Blessed, elusive, erratic, undependable, geriatric sleep. What an irritant disrupted sleep is! If I sleep well, things get done, Sal gets kissed, the dogs get walked and I help out with dinner. No sleep? Everyone pays a price. Sadly, good sleep is getting more and more infrequent. I guess the great spirit pool expects me to catch up when I have officially left the building and gotten into the great public pool.

Observation #6. Movies. Good ol’ hero type, wise-cracking, shoot-em-ups are getting too real and gritty now. Andaa sappy Morgan Freeman playing God bugs me. The producers have moved away from space movies, which I still really like, and rom-coms are just plain stupid now. I guess what I am saying is that age has made me so much more picky now and that I am not even happy with Netflix. That’s annoying because Netflix was my retirement plan.

Observation# 7. Travel. I still have the bug but it is an ant now. I am easily crushed by airports, security, epidemics and Tourista. I have kinda gone soft. I’ll still chicken-bus but only if they have air-conditioning and the driver doesn’t play local salsa loudly on a tinny portable player. Some chicken buses still do that. I tend to pay the extra pesos for the quiet ones now. I know that I have a few trips left in me and I think logic suggests the sooner the better but, damn!, y’all know what’s going on out there!!?? If I can wait for an air conditioned bus, I can wait for the epidemic, revolution, cartel shoot-out, war and general corruption to subside a bit, can’t I?

Observation #8. They were wrong about wisdom. I am older. But I am not wiser. I used to know everything. Now I know nothing. The only thing I know for sure is that I am where I want to be with the one I want to be with and we eat and drink well together.

I may have to work on my Netflix plan.

20 thoughts on “Reflections on getting old

  1. Wow.
    You hit a lot of buttons on that editorial (rant?)

    Several things.
    One of my employees is taking two WEEKS off in Hawaii to celebrate his wife’s 60th birthday.
    I looked at him and asked, “She wants to celebrate turning 60?”

    Another employee has just had her 59 year old common law husband leave this mortal coil…heart attack.
    Bang. Jammer. Dead.

    I just won 1000 bucks on the lotto (5 numbers out of 7 AND the bonus number).
    I’ve spent more on the lotto in a year than that because I got roped into a “shared ticket deal” with another ex employee who retired a few years back.
    The tickets are an excuse for us to call each other each week.
    He crapped his pants when I told him we won 1001.60…and a free play.

    If I wake up in the middle of the night I keep a book next to the bed and send 10.15,20 minutes reading…garanteed insomnia cure.
    My current book is about William the Conqueror.
    He was very religious but if you turn against him… he would have your eyes gouged out and your hands cut off.
    A warning to all the other people contemplating insurrection.
    It worked.
    I guess he just confessed all his sins and was “forgiven”.

    I love to fly.
    I HATE airport security and the moronic Nazi wanna bees that lord their authority over you.
    Pissants and their jobs.
    I cant wait for the Star Trek transporter to eliminate thousands of jobs.

    Thats my rebuttal (rant)


    • Neither a rebuttal nor a rant. I took at as a fellow curmudgeon making all the right noises. Mind you, despite the whiney slant to my blog, I am basically happy – as the last part indicated. It is just that age not only creeps up on ya, it starts whispering in your ear…..


  2. Entertaining post which I suspect is meant to be taken somewhat seriously. Number 9.) Cynicism. could be added to the list.
    How does an older adult avoid this disposition? What causes it?


    • Avoid cynicism by avoiding people, the news and finances. Get a dog, eat well and do what you want. Life is learning new stuff, not the same old stuff every day. Routine makes you cynical.
      Been there, done that. Repeating lessons and experiences make you cynical. Do something new. Oh yeah, one more thing…young people are pretty funny…jus sayin…you know? Like puppies.


  3. Why do you never have women (apart from moi) comment on your blog, Dave? I’m starting to feel a bit weird. I’ve been watching this show on Netflix with James Spader in it. It’s dreadful but James Spader …. That’s not very PC, is it? So I’m happy. Still talk about dropping off my perch though.


    • Margie used to comment but not so much anymore. Joy still jumps in now and then. You’re good. But Sal figures I write in a masculine voice and phrase things like men do. Seems my humor is a bit that way, too. Plus I never write about blind women living in poverty in India with a lame dog and an abusive husband. And, of course, Cancer. That’s the go-to for attracting women readers it seems…..not outboard repair, politics, economics or rambling mansplaing….who knew?


  4. Am I allowed to comment, being only in my late fifties?
    I never reflected on my age, until a few years ago. It’s not that I have aches or pains, I just don’t seem to recuperate as fast as a decade ago. Still do some intensive training (all the other guys are between 18 and 35 so they all consider me as being “the old guy trying to catch up”)
    A few years ago however, I stated to reflect on the years ahead of me (hopefully a lot).
    It’s like, I still have a huge list of things I want to do, lots of places to visit (you and Sal are number 1 on that list), but I get more and more afraid that there just will be not enough time to do it all.
    I also hate to fly (do that way to much professionally), but I mainly hate the airports and the time lost on airports
    I am not yet cynical, thank god for that

    I could give you some good tips on what to watch on Netflix


    • Time is your real currency, not money. And time spent waiting, being herded, lining up, sitting in traffic is time misspent. As your account draws down, you become more protective of your time. It’s only natural. I’m at the stage where I refuse to attend meetings…..radical, eh?


  5. When I hit 75 I celebrated my next (80th) birthday, FOR 5 YEARS, so it wouldn’t be a shock when it finally arrived. It worked, sorta, but 81 hit hard.
    But you’re right, time is the only currency to be concerned about. I guess, if I were destitute and homeless, I might have a different outlook. But I’m not, and looking forward to Argentina!


  6. What was a not a great surprise – over 75 and damn the body is slower, thinking is slower, not getting projects finished in a normal timely way, talking to anyone one who stops on their walk, petting everyone’s dog with permission … and so much more that is not always a ‘smile and carry on’.


    • Thank God I am not at the stage of petting everyone’s dog! Out here, it would take all day. Practically takes all day just keeping Gus and Daisy well patted. They are pat-sponges. I am not so sure one could count me as being much slower either….I am practically parked and stored as it is. I even read sometimes in the day! Nice to see you…..


  7. Observation #9
    So Kansas Chief QB has a 500 million dollar player contact
    Born in 1996.
    His father a famous pro pitcher was born in 1970
    And us young uns davidicus born in 48 and 50.
    Where did the weekend go??


    • My weekend disappeared when I went OTG. I rarely know what day it is. And I only guess at the dates. Sal’s b-day approaches so I am kinda hip right now but after that, no need to look until October. Even better – no need to know. If you are referring to our athletic days when we were young, I played sports every day of the week and four times on the weekends. At one time I was even offered a pro-football contract. Honest. But, I was the smallest guy on the team and, in the first practice got hit head-on-head on by a 300+ pound lineman that I was sure broke every bone in my body…..I slowly got up, realized I was intact and left the field, my uniform and any dreams of greatness right that day. In other words, million dollar contracts were clearly not part of my future. After that hit, I was just glad to have a future.


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