More Joy of GeezerHood
Revisiting Geezerhood – defined as the domain of an old man – at least 80 years old, somewhat odd or eccentric, proud, confident, extroverted who sees life with a perspective much like the guy in the Book of Ecclesiastes – kind of a “been there, done that” outlook.
Last week, the Geezer told of his being liberated from the vanity of physical appearance. He is now is content with the idea that what you see is what you get and if you don’t like it, too bad. The Geezer also touched on the liberation he now relishes in his intellectual and social life.
He draws his own conclusions on the things that matter all tempered from a lifetime of realizing that half of what is passed off as truth is not quite so. This is not cynicism so much as it is realism, knowing that human nature – the generator of “truth” and “facts” – is more than capable of shading and outright deception at one end of the pile with gullibility and naivety stacked up at the other end.
The Geezer is not sour about this state of human affairs as he also realizes that he has been and probably still is a “part of the problem” himself. Whereas in his pre-Geezer era, he would undertake to educate others to his own “well-formed set of truths and facts”, he now perceives that the more you push, the more resistance you create. So how does he resolve this conundrum of letting people labor under ignorance and falsity without the benefit of the truth (his, of course)? He simply throws his version out there and worries not whether anybody accepts his rendering or not. It’s their problem after all, not his.
Here are some kernels of Geezer wisdom gathered over his lifetime (none of these are necessarily original to him, but they do resonate deeply in his soul
1. “No good deed goes unpunished”. His older brother, also a geezer, is a wealthy and extremely generous person who can relate one horror story after another arising from his helping people in need – and I’m not talking about hundreds here but thousands upon thousands of dollars. And yet he still carries on his generosity
2. “ Hold all opinions lightly, but cling firmly to your basic beliefs”. The Geezer like everyone else has views on everything under the sun – whether it be politics, sports, food, people, etc.. He has also grasped that since things can change on a dime, not to bet the farm on any of these “opinions”. On the other hand there are certain absolutes which whether fully understood or not are eternally true and right and should never be abandoned or modified.
3. “Enjoy yesterday, today, and look forward to tomorrow”. Often the Geezer hears some older folks (non-geezers) complain that they can’t do today what they used to be able to do in the past. They lament that they can only drive the golf ball 150 yards now when in the past they averaged closed to 250. The Geezer says , “Of course, you can’t, but who can? And what makes you think you are not subject to the Second Law of Thermodynamics – that everything including you – runs downhill. Get real!” The Geezer says to enjoy the memories from the days in the past of the long drives and an occasional good score. For the present day, he is delighted in that he can still swing a club now no matter how far the balls goes. And what he enjoys the most is just being out there playing the game with his friends.
4. Finally “You don’t have to catch every ball that is thrown to you”. The Geezer has come to realize that it is OK to be selective in how he spends his time, thoughts, and energy. It is not necessary to have to respond to every comment, invitation, or interaction. It is OK to just to say “No” or “I’ll pass on that”. Bingo? – no thanks; Bowling? are you kidding!; Valentine Banquet? No Way, Jose!
And so, the smiling Geezer moves on into the Twilight thankful for his good life.