Getting older definitely has some upsides

I shake my head when I think back to the days I was young and naive. I remember it so well because it was only last week.

I suffer a birthday every September or so, and one of those critters just scampered past. So now that I’m older and wiser, what have I learned?

“Senior moments” are a blessing. It used to be when I fumbled or forgot something, people glared. Now they chuckle about my “senior moment.” Nope. I’ve always been this absent-minded. But since my beard turned white, I get a pass. Pretty cool.

• Senior discounts are wonderful. Embarrassed about my age? Not for 15 percent off.

• I’m still not sure about being called “sir” or “Mr. Cole,” but I’m growing into it. Eventually, it will morph into “old coot,” and that will fit, too. Nor does it bother me.

• I’m not going to reach 6-foot-6. You can let go of some dreams and it’s not tragic. A guy feels much less pressure settling into his own talents.

• The great philosopher Dave Barry said the wisdom from aging taught him to dance like no one is watching. Fine, but I’m closing my eyes. I don’t want to see me dance, either.

• Determination to win the argument generally determines that I’ll be sleeping on the couch. Being right doesn’t count as a moral victory. Mostly, it’s stupidity. Was it really THAT important to prove the plug would fit that hole?

• No one expects me to lift the heavy box. Friends who needed big things moved used to call me to do the lugging. Now when they phone, it’s to see if I know someone else. I learned that my back can smile.

• Mom was right. But now I don’t remember what it was she said. And neither does she.

• My friends and I used to rave about the latest releases from Jackson Browne, Kool & the Gang, Journey or the Spinners. Now when we get together, the talk turns to other rhythms — “The doc says my cholesterol’s a little high but pills are keeping the blood pressure in check,” “My knee doesn’t ache as much with these new orthopedics,” or “Yep, I get the scope tomorrow morning. Wanna come?”

• Dealing with problems is easier. That’s partly experience. Mostly, it’s because I consider far fewer things problems.

My shirt’s wrinkled and there’s no time to iron it before leaving the house? Not a problem. I hadn’t planned on ironing it anyway because I no longer care. Better yet, I’ll stay home. Now that I’m old enough to go wherever I want, I’ve discovered the thrill of snuggling into my easy chair with a good book and the remote control, pulling up an afghan and taking a nap.

• Get rid of it. I’ve stashed nearly six decades of I-can-use-that-someday, I-forgot-what-it-goes-to-so-I-better-hang-onto-it, and then some useless junk. I can’t take it with me and the kids don’t want to inherit any of it. Out it goes.

• Growing older is a blessing. I’ve lost an astounding number of high school classmates. I don’t know why I’m one of the ones blessed to remain but I thank God for the privilege. I aim to live every moment as the gift he granted for the purpose he intended.

• When I do pass on, I’ll still be emailed spam. If you go first, I’ll probably fall victim to a “senior moment” and send birthday wishes to your Facebook page. That will be because I remembered what was important — you.

Rock with the geezer at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.

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