New Golden Buckeye seeks advice on becoming a geezer

Burt's Eye View

The return address on the plain, white envelope was marked, “Ohio Department of Aging.”

I opened it. “Congratulations!” the letter inside proclaimed. “You’ve joined the ranks of nearly 2.4 million Ohioans eligible for a Golden Buckeye Card.”

My passport to geezerdom had arrived. According to the state of Ohio, I’m officially a senior citizen.

It’s the first time I’ve been one. How does one go about such a thing? Do I start wearing black socks with sandals? Yelling at kids to get off my lawn?

I hope not. I don’t own sandals. And kids are welcome to walk every bit of my lawn — as long as they’re pushing a mower.

There must be more to being a senior citizen than Tuesday discounts at Goodwill, senior coffees and being an unstylish grump.

I researched advice from the Great Philosophers. Crank up your hearing aid a notch or two and listen in on the wisdom of aging:

“Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” — Betty Friedan (Now somebody help me open this pickle jar.)

“The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.” — H.L. Mencken

“It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.” — fortune cookie

“In order to be old and wise, one must once be young and stupid.” — anonymous

“At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.” — Ann Landers

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” — Satchel Paige

“I have a photographic memory. Unfortunately, it no longer offers same-day service.” — anonymous (You have to be my age, waiting for your prints to come, to fully appreciate that one.)

“How can they say my life isn’t a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?” — Logan Pearsall Smith

“Long lives aren’t natural. We forget that senior citizens are as much an invention as toasters or penicillin.” — Douglas Coupland (Well, there’s a boost to the ol’ self-image. Good thing that doesn’t matter to us old guys anymore.)

“I’m kind of comfortable with getting older because it’s better than the other option, which is being dead.” — George Clooney

“Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.” — Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, writer

“A man ninety years old was asked to what he attributed his longevity. I reckon, he said, with a twinkle in his eye, it because most nights I went to bed and slept when I should have sat up and worried.” — Dorothea Kent

“None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” — Henry David Thoreau

“Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of what’s next, and the joy of the game of living. In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power from men and from the infinite, so long are you young.” — Samuel Ullman

— Send your wisdom of the ages advice to Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.


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