BABY BOOMER BABBLE
The Zen of Growing Older
We baby boomers are getting older. It somehow just seems to happen. One day you’re hitting a homer for your high school baseball team, the next you’re wondering whether you can get out of bed.
It’s funny, but in a lot of ways, I don’t feel old. I suppose by today’s standards, I’m not. Sixty-one. They say it’s the new fifty. I’m not so sure.
I still like my music loud and I can tolerate most anything. My only problem is, I can’t make out most of the lyrics nowadays. I don’t know if it’s my ears or the younger generations propensity for mumbling. Whichever, I still like my music, even some rap and hip hop.
I can still shoot a basketball pretty well, although I can’t make many trips up and down the court. I gave up softball about ten years ago. I could probably still hit okey, but throwing would be difficult, for medical reasons.
I don’t think my thinking has turned old, but I’m probably a bit bias. Sometimes I get the feeling I’m slipping into geezerdom. I hear myself complaining about the younger generations at times, but I think rather than disappointed, I’m envious. Then again, if I had the chance, I don’t think I would want to be younger again. Once was enough.
My main issue with growing old is medical. There are times, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. With our modern medical technology, they find everything. At times, I long for the old days when it was “take two aspirins, and sleep it off.” You either got better or died.
One good old age benefit coming up for me is social security. This is a socialist program most old people, many readily against socialism, partake of. Being kind of semi-retired already, I’ll take my benefit at age sixty-two. I don’t really think a whole lot about it. I’m viewing it as getting a bit even with Uncle Sam.
I will say, the older I get, the more I enjoy simple things, like waking up in the morning. There is a certain pleasure in opening your eyes and seeing the familiar. I like sitting on the front porch swing and watching the traffic go by, usually ten miles per hour over the limit. The ambulance going by gives me the simple pleasure of knowing that I’m not in it. Pulling weeds, feeding the fish in my pond, having a beer with a friend, doing some writing on the back deck, playing a little golf, watching some senseless show on TV. The little things get more enjoyable, probably because there are fewer big things. Or at least that’s what you hope.
I don’t think in terms of retirement. I think more that now I can do what I want. No more butt kissing. If I want to be a greeter at Wal-Mart, I can do that. Or volunteer. Or go back to school. Or find a part-time or full-time job that I like, but don’t necessarily need. That’s freedom. You don’t like the boss, tell him to kiss it. I don’t think there is a retirement anymore. Now it’s a life style adjustment.
Growing older isn’t all that bad, although I’m not so sure it’s all that good. It is what it is. It just is. Or isn’t.