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On Being A Geezer

April 17, 2020

In my early years, I never thought I would arrive at geezerdom; I always thought this was a special place reserved for old farts who had outlived their usefulness. Now that I have indeed arrived, I am seeing things a bit differently.

I look back on calm, sunny days when I was a young buck full of promise and energy. There really wasn’t anything I couldn’t do. I was raised in the 1950’s and learned a full array of mental and physical arts. From contributions of my parents and grandparents, I learned quickly because I was expected to do so. When I was in the sixth grade I could read 3,800 words an minute and I knew how to make a wallet out of leather, hunt, fish, ride a horse, pitch a tent, write poetry and a thousand other things. It was a practical preparation for life.

As I grew older I parlayed a vast education, including a bachelor’s, two masters, a teaching credential and a law degree into an unorthodox living, moving from job to job as a salesman, teacher, songwriter, poet and petroleum consultant. Along the way, I learned many languages and embraced the people whom I met as friends and cherished parts of my life. I was becoming the original Renaissance Man in so many respects. I was always impatient to do something new, to learn new things and go to new places. I had an appetite for life that was truly enormous.

As I charged past my 30’s, 40’s and 50’s I still felt that powerful surge every morning when I got up. I was ready for any challenge. I have been a doer all my life, actually a do it yourselfer. I would happily rewire my house, do all the plumbing and take care of enormous yards wherever my wife and I have lived. It was fun. 

As I entered my 60’s, I wanted to share my background with others and I did so regularly both near our home in Italy and the one in the United States. I regularly gave free courses in genealogy, song writing and several foreign languages. I felt that I had reached a turning point or more accurately a fulcrum where I was seeing more in the rear view mirror and less on the road ahead. By my late 60’s, I saw the neon geezer road sign up ahead but refused to be drawn to it. Yes, I accepted the senior discount with glee and even accepted the fact that I needed a handicapped parking placard after two surgeries.

One day I woke up and I had turned full geezer. I was thinking more of myself than others. While I still tried to give back a little by sharing some of my unique experience and skills with others, I found myself slowing down like an old pocket watch whose spring has sprung a bit. My priority list was simple; it started with my wife of 40 years and then moved to me. That was it. There were no numbers 3 to 100 as there had been just a few years earlier.

All of this is not to say I have completely waved the white flag. It’s just that reality has set in. Yes, I can still mow our half acre of grass in one effort and yes I can still do about anything that I really want to do. And just last week, I repaired the cores in our bathroom faucet. But Lord, the aches and pains that follow serve only to remind me of my age. The will is still there but time is taxing my physicality bigly, leading me to the bottle of Ibuprofen too often. I truly hope that I haven’t yet outlived my usefulness but to paraphrase an old Pogo cartoon, “I have met the geezer and he is me!”

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Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at Amazon.com

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16 Comments
  1. We might never long for heaven if everything on earth were perfect. But I noticed at the physical therapist this morning (after a bad day), I still had this “let me try it myself” still alive and well. ha

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As long as it’s my face when I look in the mirror, I can agree to all you say about the tolls of geezerdom. It ain’t purty.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Know just how you feel Allen! Occasionally I will look in the mirror while shaving (which Ino longer do regularly here in hibernation!) and laugh. Who the hell is that guy in the I mirror? Where is that young muscular stud guy! Oh well. The procession of the living goes on; we’ve simply moved to the front of the line. Best from Florida.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I get the same reflection. There used to be this champion surfer looking back. However, I suppose I’m “well preserved” for my age. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think we ever think there will come a time when we have to ‘slow’ down a bit. Even if we are in the best of shape for our age, changes come. It is a strange thing because on the ‘inside’ nothing has changed.We are still the same people. It has been said that we are every age that we have ever been…we remember it all so well. Celebrating whatever age we are seems to be the answer…we cannot go back, only forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You will never be an old geezer to me. What a brilliant life you have had, and will continue to have for many more years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Not everyone gets to achieve geezerdom, of course. I know you’re grateful to be here at all. Saw a line loved recently: Do you you ever look in the mirror and say to yourself, “That can’t be accurate!”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maybe this will be of consolation a bit: during this forced quarantine I decided—like most people—to tackle some (heavy) tasks that I had always postponed, only to be down the day after with sore back.
    Looking at it from the bright side, soreness in my back has been a constant in all my life, so I don’t feel like it is because I aged! Yeah!!!!!
    The less bright side is that I have it now fir a full week, … but it is because of inactivity.
    The wonderful perspective of seeing things always on the bright side.
    Keep going, I’m sure the geezer life has some advantages.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations! Your blog has been included in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at

    https://thatmomentintime-crissouli.blogspot.com/2020/04/friday-fossicking-24th-apr-2020.html

    Thank you, Chris

    Aah, but the reflections we see are those of laughter, joy, sadness, experience, knowledge, love and so much more… I wouldn’t change that for anything.. I have earned every line and have the memories to vouch for them.

    Liked by 1 person

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