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Getting old is freakin' cool

With two weeks to go until my 65th birthday on June 9th, the multiple advantages of being an official senior citizen are sinking in. Darn near every business establishment volunteers some kind of discount. Free senior citizens coffee? Sure, make it a large. Half price buffet from 2 to 4 pm weekdays? Sign me up! I even got 25% off at an auto salvage yard. Now that’s cool.

There are other ‘assumed/presumed’ advantages to aging. People assume I have achieved a level of wisdom. That’s a maybe. I’ve learned to avoid certain pitfalls in life, credited to lessons learned in the school of hard knocks. Duck when going under low hanging tree limbs. Don’t give your bank account and Social Security number to people calling to transfer a million dollars on behalf a long lost relative. Think twice about accepting Facebook friend requests from provocatively dressed Ukrainian women.

Also, people are never sure whether the way I walk is swagger or stagger. (It’s a little of both.) An elongated pause before answering a question is presumed to be preparation for a thoughtful response. In reality, I either didn't hear or understand, or hoping the questioner will just go away.

I don’t know how it works for you, but grandkids really make being old the coolest thing in the world. When they’re really young, you’re their superhero. When they learn to read and write, they’re your technical advisors on everything electronic. When they learn to drive, they’re happy to take you places just to get behind the wheel. Buckle up, Buttercup.

Joe Harwell, Tulsa Oklahoma, Author
(L to R) Breandra, me, Sable, Jarrad, Jordyn

Regrets? Some. I could/should have been kinder and smarter. Lessons learned. Mostly I regret losing the love of my life ten years ago. Our children and grandchildren are my constant reminder of her presence. This recent photo with our four oldest grandchildren shows how Becky's life plan to be a stay-at-home-mother of two daughters and two sons not only worked out, it will reach far beyond her expectations.

Age is just a number and passing years have taught me the importance of each moment. When I graduated high school in 1972, I never gave a thought to ever being sixty-five years old, or fifty, forty, or even thirty. Now I’m thinking about a 50 year class reunion in two years. I recently submitted a two sentence letter the the editor of my hometown newspaper to the class of 2019. “Start planning your fifty-year reunion. 2069 will be here faster than you think.”

Peace, Love, Hope.

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