Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

Know what I like about my fellow aging friends? Almost everything.  Most Baby Boomers I know are determined, talented people who don’t pay much attention to limitations, and we do what we want to do – within reason, of course. 

We seem to know who we are and that as time goes on (and on and on), we change with it a bit.  Importantly, we don’t seem to let changes get us down.  In other words, we know who we are and figure we can’t do much about it.

Some of us who used to snow ski have had to look for different sports of interest as our knees played out.  Like parachuting.  I asked one buddy why he tried parachuting if his knees were bad.  He said, “I’m falling from the sky. I figure if I were counting on my knees for support, I’m out of luck away.”  Some of us who jogged and raced for years now are into walking.  We’ve changed many of the things we do, but not the activity level.  We invented the energizer bunny.

Like I said, we know who we are becoming.

Our body isn’t the only thing changing.  Our minds are changing, too.

I am continually forgetting names of people.  But, that’s easy to get around as long as you’re friendly and at least recognize a face now and then. (It is most advantageous and advisable to remember your wife’s name, and your anniversary day.) (I have been known on many occasions to call my sons by the dog’s name.)

Back to my original point, the real issue is how we handle our forgetfulness. A few weeks ago, there was a small gathering of very good friends at a buddy’s house.  After great food, we engaged in lengthy conversations about everything from families to politics to art.  We still have strong, well-educated opinions (when we can remember them.)

One friend was giving a discourse about learning how to operate a sailboat, and right in the middle of his tale he stopped, paused several seconds, laughed, and said, “I don’t have a clue what I was going to say next.”  So, off we went in another direction, on another topic.  Probably no one thought anything more about it.  Forgetfulness doesn’t make us any less attractive or interesting. In fact, it may make us more interesting.  If you can keep up with the conversations of a group that forgets what they’re saying mid-sentence and then goes on to something else, you’re pretty good.

I decided right then that how we handle our age is important.  I can guarantee you no young person would have been able to show that kind of confidence – in forgetting something and not caring all that much.  The other wonderful thing is none of us teased him or were concerned.  Actually, I think maybe if more politicians forgot what they were saying, we’d progress a lot faster.  But that’s just me.

Date of Blog Story: 
July 25, 2008

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