The Benefits of Being an Old Man

THIS IS A PORTRAIT OF OLD AGE

except in my case, I am not captured in a well-designed painting such as this one.
except in my case, I am not captured in a well-designed painting such as this one.

Okay. So I'm facing the harsh fact

that I am an old man. Maybe not to you, but when I see "me" in my bathroom mirror, I grimace and say to myself, "look at those road lines on my face," and I am honest. These road lines, or wrinkles to the more-discerning reader, mean that over the past 58 years I have done myself some living. Some hard. Some good. And some that I cannot put into a category.

At the age I am now, 58, "I" was the group of people I made fun of for being "ancient," or a "relic," when my friends and I were the sweet, tender age of 16. Yes, sir. From ages 35 to 50, were "old timers" to me. We would sometimes hang-out in fast-food restaurants like McDonald's and make fun of people like I am now. And you know something. Now that is not fun. Sometimes my wife, Pam, takes me to a fast-food place and forces me to walk inside for my exercise and well, you guessed it. There sits a "pack" of pre-teens and teens all bunched together poking fun at me and those of my age. I can hear their muffled laughing as we walk by. What I'd love to do is take my chocolate shake and empty the contents on their designer shirts and caps. But Pam, my saintly wife, stops me from doing this. "they are young like we once were," she explains without being asked. We eat. Chat. And finally my favorite part of the evening: Going home.


PICTURES OF A FEW OLD GUYS

Thinking becomes slower, but sharper when you are an old guy.
Thinking becomes slower, but sharper when you are an old guy.
It's nice to be able to laugh when you are an old man like me and this guy.
It's nice to be able to laugh when you are an old man like me and this guy.
Old men are even the subject of masterpiece paintings.
Old men are even the subject of masterpiece paintings.

Here are my views on what it's like to grow old

  1. My thinking is slower, but sometimes a lot sharper than when I was seventeen.
  2. My feet walk slower, but then again, I see more of the beauties of life around me.
  3. My voice isn't crisp anymore, but I only say what I need to say and not waste words.
  4. My ears cannot hear a fly walk on a wall across the room, but I can still hear the voices of my grandchildren say, "I love you, paw paw."
  5. My dreams are few at my current age for I don't dream that much. I concentrate on living.
  6. I don't crave the attention of a pretty woman. I just sit and admire how God made her.
  7. People around me only need me when they encounter something they can't fix.


There is a reason

why I only used photos of old guys in this story. I can only speak for myself in being an old man. I do not know, nor will I ever know, how it feels to be an old woman. Or should I say, "lady"?

I am not here jumping for joy that my youth is gone forever. What nut would do that? Would you tell me what man in his right mind would stand on his front porch and yell to the world, "heyyy, I am very old! I love not being able to work. I love the aches and pains in my broken-down, worn-out body!" If you know of one, let me know so I can contact him and ask what he is either drinking or smoking.

Fact is, no one actually "loves" to grow old. It's just the acceptance of this segement of our unsure lives that makes all the difference in the world. The longer "I" fought getting old, the harder it was. It dawned on me one fall evening last year as I was sitting in the sunshine in my front yard and a carload of pretty girls, I'd guess in their early 20's, came by my house in a convertible and then stopped. The car wasn't the only thing that stopped. My heart stopped for not knowing why these young beauties would stop in front of my house.

I made my way to the edge of my yard to see if they had car trouble. Thank God they didn't. (did you catch that? In my younger days, I would have prayed that their car would have broken down to allow me to talk to them.) The driver, a pretty girl with long, blond hair smiled and said, "can you tell me how far it is to Tupelo?" "Sure," I replied and proceeded to tell these lovely girls in (exact miles) how far it was to their destination. When I had finished, they all giggled that young girl giggle and the driver replied, "thank you, SIR!" and they left.

I stood there in that one spot for I know was fifteen minutes just letting that "sir" title sink in. Then it happened. I realized that with that "sir," I was then and old guy. Was I proud? No. Was I stunned with a new revelation? Yes. I thought that even with these physical diseases, I had a few good years of action left. But those lovely girls were like messengers of my loving Maker whom He sent to let me know that I was now entering my "twilight years."

HAPPINESS COMES IN NEW FORMS

to us old guys. Most times when "we" make it through one day without falling down and hurting ourselves. Or when a pretty woman simply smiles at us. "We" old men aren't hard to please. "We" are happy to just still be here.
to us old guys. Most times when "we" make it through one day without falling down and hurting ourselves. Or when a pretty woman simply smiles at us. "We" old men aren't hard to please. "We" are happy to just still be here.

MORE IMAGES OF OLD MEN'S LIVES

I'm not going to be alarmed when a good-hearted kid offers to help me across the street.
I'm not going to be alarmed when a good-hearted kid offers to help me across the street.
Some people say that staying busy will keep us old guys alive longer. I guess writing hubs qualifies for "my" staying busy activity.
Some people say that staying busy will keep us old guys alive longer. I guess writing hubs qualifies for "my" staying busy activity.
An old gentleman just happy in his own space doing his own thing that makes him happy. What an ideal life.
An old gentleman just happy in his own space doing his own thing that makes him happy. What an ideal life.
See the serious look on this old man's face? "We" do get serious when we face our own mortality. Old men's thoughts are to be treasured. Some poet said that one time. I remembered it from when I was in school.
See the serious look on this old man's face? "We" do get serious when we face our own mortality. Old men's thoughts are to be treasured. Some poet said that one time. I remembered it from when I was in school.

The Benefits of "My" Being an Old Man

I sleep longer and sounder because I really do not have anywhere to be. For 23 years I worked for a local newspaper. That meant being up by 7 a.m. five days a week and being at work by eight. And it meant that some day's, my job required me to work late. Sometimes until 3 a.m. Not anymore.

I do not have to finish anything anymore. At my age, my hope for finishing the project on some tomorrow is always evident. The only thing I "have" to finish are my meals.

I have nothing to prove to anyone anymore. My days of "chasing the brass ring" are over. I was never that agile on a carousel to begin with.

I get to sit back on the "sidelines of life" and watch the young people mess-up and laugh to myself, "I remember doing that."

Only my friends the same age as me, have memories that only we can understand. EXAMPLE: "Remember Jimi Hendrix?" We might ask a teenager in 2012. "Who? Was he a NBA star?" See what I mean?

To me now, attractive women are but walking masterpiece paintings. Not objects of passion as I once felt toward them. (This part of my life really hurts).

I do not drive a car anymore. My hands shake too much and I am afraid that I may wreck and hurt an innocent person. So I pester my wife to drive me to where I want to go.

I can say pretty much anything that's on my mind. And those around me, although they might be a bit put off, just sigh and say, "awww, he's an old guy. They are all like that."

Police officers are not worried about what my friends and I are up to. Their only concern is if I can remember my way home.

God and I are closer buddies now than when I was eighteen. I listen to Him more in my old age than I ever did. And I found out that things He says MAKES LOADS OF SENSE.

I appreciate things more. Such as HubPages. Who do not place unwanted pressure of me "having to write" a certain number of stories or be bumped from their website. (Simone, this was for you).

And finally . . .

When I pass from this arena of life, not that many people will know that I have left. I never did like crowds anyway.



THIS IS HOW "I" WANT TO LIVE OUT MY DAYS

with an honest smile on my face, a clear conscience and knowing that somewhere in life, I made a difference in one person's life.
with an honest smile on my face, a clear conscience and knowing that somewhere in life, I made a difference in one person's life.

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Comments 14 comments

picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

Love this hub! I think the first time it sunk in to me that I am getting old was when I was old enough for a senior citizens discount at the grocery store. Love your benefits of being an old man too. Really, in our 80's, if we are still here, we will look back at this age and think it was not old at all. Vote up!


DFiduccia profile image

DFiduccia 4 years ago from Las Vegas

Hey Ken,

On this hub, your perspective is interesting and humorous as usual, but not one I agree with entirely. To a young person you are now an old man, but to me you are a still a young man. I strive to not think old but instead think young. I can still do anything physically that I could in my twenties—maybe a bit slower as you mention, but I’m just as active at the gym as I was when I started working out in the military at eighteen years old. Age is really a mindset sort of thing to me, and I surround myself with people that think the same way. Believe me, Ken, you are still young.

Nevertheless, the hub is a good read—voted up.


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

Hi Ken, You think your old forget it- I beat you being born.

Being older than you I have the onstart of R/A which gave me carpel tunnel syndrome in my hands and I had to surgery for that. When a Dr asks do you whatever I now answer not yet.

Chin up mister your doing fine.

Voted up, funny and interesting.


Kebennett1 profile image

Kebennett1 4 years ago from San Bernardino County, California

This is a beautiful hub. Thank you for sharing your view of "old age" with us! I just turned 50 and as I look back I am sooo happy that I have learned all that I have in my "older" years. I wouldn't want to regress if I could. Wisdom is worth every wrinkle!


Ghaelach 4 years ago

Morning Kenneth.

Thanks for reminding me of what I already know.

Being old is hard work. I mean it's the middle of the night 10:00am and I've just got up and have my first cup of tea sitting under my pavilion at my caravan. I see it's going to be another of those bad days where the sun is to hot. I have a list of jobs to do around the caravan but what the heck, I think it's Friday and all those weekend campers will be coming soon. Hell I think I'll have another cup of tea and wait for Monday. Yah! being old is hard work.

Nice one Kenneth.

LOL Ghaelach


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

Kenneth, such a great hub. There are many advantages to being older, we just have to look for them. I can honestly say that I wouldn't really want to go back to being twenty...well, maybe for a visit, but not permanently.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hey, mahua,

"Old is Gold," I really like that one. I will remember that if my memory doesn't leave me. LOL. Thank you, dear, for your kind and respectful remarks.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear picklesandrufus . . .I appreciate your observation and comments about this hub.

I confess. When I was in my mid-40's, some restaurants gave ME a senior citizens discount. But then again, you haven't lived a hard live like I used to live. I have more "road lines" than you.

And you should be praising God everyday.

I do. For you and my wonderful followers who always keep me going.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, DF,

you are right. It our mindset. And it sometimes takes me a long time to grasp onto that. But I promise to try. Thanks for your humble comments.

Have a great day yourself.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

writer20,

LOL, what can I say? I see that I will lose if I argue with you, so I wont. I need all of my strength and breath. LOL!

YOU DO NOT look older than me, so what gives? And I know really well about R/A. I have Accelerated Fibromyalgia and Neurothopy and 3 bad disks in lower back, but hey, my heart is still young!!!!

Anyone got a Coke? I bet you thought I was gonna say Pepsi. LOL!

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Kebennett . . .thank you very much for your sweet thoughts. I agree. I learned what little I learned in my OLDer years. And I WOULD go back, not that far, but to at least 2 Cruical junctions in my life and do the oppositve. I promise you that I might not be here now because of my changing just those two suttle, innocent decisions.

Hope I have put you in suspense.

Kennneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Ghaelach . . .LOL, what wise attitude you have. When you DO Have loads of time, we can take time to plan out time when and how we spend that time.

Now you've got me to talking like you. LOL. Thank you for being a source of making me smile today.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dearest catgypsy, Foxy and Heidi,

I agree with your comment 110%. Visiting my past, yes. Briefly. But not putting down roots. Too painful.

LOVE ya,

Kenneth

PS: visit with me anytime you like :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Oh dear Ken. Old is a state of mind and at 58 you shouldn't be residing in that state! Your hub is lovely and entertaining and holds some truths you shouldn't be aware of just yet. You are by no means 'old' just 'older' and I can say this since I have you beat by going on seven years.

I have to agree as we age we do get closer to God and appreciate more what He has given us. Keep writing these wonderful hubs until you do get old!

Voted up, awesome and interesting.

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