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On Being A Geezer

April 27, 2022

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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  1. I wish I could tease you about your comments but I’m there too. Gezzerette cum loudly. Sad. In my mind I’m still a spry 50 something.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, getting old is part of the life cycle. To me, trying to deny it is just not logical.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My husband can so relate. He has his shares of aches and pains but he always has since I married him 45 years ago. He has learned to live with them and soldier on. I so admire him for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The day I retired, I went to bed that night and woke up a “old person”. How did that happen?

    Liked by 1 person

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