An Encouraging Word – Get over it

Father J. Ronald Knott
Father J. Ronald Knott

Some of us will also grow old. Sirach 8:6

Tomorrow I will be 73! I would lock myself in my room and cry all day, but I am low on Kleenex. Instead, I decided it might be interesting to Google the word “geezer” to see how many synonyms were listed. Bad idea. One site listed 102 words you can use to insult an old man.

Let me share a few of them, but don’t even try to use them to my face: gramps, mossback, codger, coot, fuddy-duddy, fogey, fossil, dodo and old-timer, just to name a few. I guess I need to start lifting weights if I am going to defend myself — either that or try to wrap my mind around not caring.

Seriously, I would like to use this opportunity to laugh at how I feel about aging in hopes that it might lift the spirits of other old geezers. The best summary of how I feel about all this is from Gospel singer Cora Harvey Armstrong:

“Inside every old person is a young person wondering what in the hell happened.”

The biggest problem with talking about aging is that you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If I say, “I don’t feel old,” people will point out that denial is one of the favorite defenses old codgers like me pull out at times like this. If I say, “I feel old,” people will say that I am not dealing with aging all that well.

Laugh if you must, but here is how I see it: Even though my birth certificate says I am 73, I don’t feel like it and I am not going to act like it.

One of the things I noticed recently, that might be a sign that I need to be more serious about aging, is the things I catch myself wondering about.

For instance, I caught myself wondering when I should think seriously about getting one of those buttons you wear around your neck where you can say, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

I realize that it’s all about health now. I even caught myself grinning in the mirror when I realized that I probably just had my last colonoscopy, as if that is something worthy of its own holiday.

On another day, I spent about 15 minutes trying to decide whether it would be more embarrassing at the drugstore to get all four prescriptions filled at once or spread it out over a few days so the pharmacists wouldn’t think I was pitiful.

Happy birthday, Ronald! Don’t deny yourself denial. It can be quite useful.

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