Wisdom comes with age

Published 11:04 am Wednesday, October 11, 2023

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By Jack Godbey

Contributing columnist

Growing older has many privileges. For one, you can get by with things that would embarrass the typical young person. For example, if you call someone by the wrong name, it’s OK. Just blame it on being old. You can pee anywhere you want including in your pants and just blow it off as being old. You can let one rip in the middle of the Dollar General and then just smile and say, “Sorry, I’m old” and no one will say a word.

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I recall when I was a child, going into town for our weekly shopping trip. I always took notice of the old men sitting along Main Street. They would tell exaggerated stories of the size of the fish they caught last week while they were trading pocketknives back and forth. I always wished I could sit and listen to their stories, but my mother had a firm grip on my hand, and she wasn’t about to let me get anywhere close to strangers.

Now that I’m getting older myself, I realize that with age, comes wisdom that we don’t have as youngsters. As a young man, I often felt like life was a bowl of soup and all I had was a fork. However, with age I’ve learned to slow down and wait for the spoon. There are other bits of wisdom that I’ve gained as well. For example, I believe that silence is golden — unless you have kids then it’s very suspicious. An entire wall can be sacrificed to crayon art in a small amount of time.

I’ve always heard people say, “Out of sight, out of mind.” I believe that whoever said that never had a spider disappear in their bedroom. I’ve heard diet experts say that we shouldn’t eat at night. If that’s true, then why do we have a light bulb in the fridge? In my mind, it’s there to light the way to leftover fried chicken that somehow tastes so much better at 2 a.m.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that we should focus on one task at a time. I had my headphones on listening to some 1980s rock entirely too loud and decided to vacuum the floor. After finishing three rooms, I noticed the vacuum wasn’t picking up very well and decided to investigate. Once I took my headphones off, I realized that the vacuum wasn’t even on. Is there some way I can blame that on aging?

I find it amusing when someone says, “Expect the unexpected.” Doesn’t expecting the unexpected make it expected? Maybe I’m missing something, but that seems odd to me.  I’ve been told to always give 100 percent in everything you do, unless you are giving blood, then maybe not so much.

Although I’m a little older now, I’m still swift as a gazelle. OK, an old one run over by a Land Rover eight days ago but still a gazelle. Still, I’m thankful that I don’t have to hunt for my own food. I have no idea where bologna sandwiches live.

One of the things that I’ve learned in life is that you are unique, just like everyone else. Some days you’re the bird, some days you’re the statue. If cocoa beans grow on trees, chocolate is officially a fruit and most of all, beauty fades but dumb is forever.