Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll sets forth SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY AVERAGE GEEZERS. She writes:

You may have heard a motivational talk on the many fine habits of highly-successful people. This will not be that talk. It’s more like a memo to myself. When you have lived through 73 long years, and are turning the odometer over to 74 this week, the wise geezer realizes that it is probably too late to be highly successful if she isn’t by now. And that’s OKAY.

Average success is good enough for me. So here are seven habits of a happy but highly average geezer for your inspiration. If you are yet more successful than this average geezer, think how good about yourself you will feel after reading this.

ONE: FOR PETE’S SAKE, LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS!

Perhaps you saw a beautiful television special about 100-year old people who run marathons, learn three new languages, or begin a new career in watercolor painting. Mazel tov to them all, but, yeah, no, this will not be you. Remember how you started Rosetta Stone Spanish three different times and abandoned it? Es verdad. You have never even run for a bus and you are not about to start with 26 miles.

You had a D going in 8th grade Art until your father carved you that boat out of Ivory Soap. It raised your grade to C-Plus. So what are the chances, really, that some latent artistic talent appears out of nowhere at age 74? Unless paintings with houses not drawn at all in perspective AND a mandatory bright yellow sun in the corner of the picture – complete with more emanations than the Constitution – suddenly become a “Must Have” for the Smart Set.

You are going to die with the same six skills you have had for many decades now: typing, cooking, driving, shooting, packing a fine suitcase, and speaking/writing amusingly. Deal with it. And thank God you could cobble together a decent living with several of those skills.

TWO: CHECK EVERYTHING. TWICE

At this age, every day involves asking oneself a lot of questions: Did I take my blood pressure pill? Hmmm…it’s not on the table, hidden in the floral pattern of the cloth, and the little Friday square in the plastic segmented pill case is empty. These are good clues.

After breakfast, the question becomes: Is the burner still on? My Double Secret Extra Special Deviled Eggs get made at least once a week. Scary experiences have taught me to ALWAYS USE THE TIMER. The sights, smells and gunshot sounds of boiled-dry exploding eggs should imbed that lesson into one’s head for life. At least by the third time it happens.

THREE: YOU WILL NEVER, EVER, LOSE YOUR LAST TEN POUNDS. GIVE UP

Even your primary care physician that you see every few years — because otherwise he won’t renew your blood pressure meds — tells you not to worry about those ten pounds. Or the five more from the Wuhan Flu lockdown. That is because at this age, it is expected that you will contract some appetite-suppressing malady and NEED that fat to survive.

Also, no matter how many tiny dumbbells you hoist, your triceps will remain problematic. But it’s not like you’ve made NO progress. Your pectorals are now strong enough that you no longer knock yourself unconscious on your mini-rebounder. So there’s that.

FOUR: PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING

To stay sane in this unfamiliar world that bears scant resemblance to the one we grew up in, it is very important to pick your battles. Do NOT emulate the Hair On Fire Shrieking Leftists who, despite being proud atheists, are really an odd throwback to the Puritans who are terrified that someone, somewhere is having a good time.

In most instances, learn to let it go. One small example: I was in Ross Dress For Less in Palm Springs waiting in a long line to pay for my lucky finds replacing my entire wardrobe for $34.99. Ahead of me in line was a small, excited woman of some Asian extraction who was attempting to RETURN a $2.00 pair of filthy down-at-the-heel slippers which had clearly been worn on a long hike through a coal mining region. I do not exaggerate for comedic effect when I say the woman argued for over 20 minutes. I offered to BUY the slippers from her for $5.00 if she would leave the line, but she demanded satisfaction from Ross.

Now recently I purchased a $2.88 five-piece hand towel and potholder set from Walmart. I was shocked to discover that the hand towels were not of the fine quality I have come to expect for 57 cents apiece. Did I return them? No. They went straight in the rag bag. The potholders seem to hold hot pots just fine, so it’s all good. See? Let it go. Life is short.

FIVE: DON’T PANIC

We enjoy listening to music on Pandora. It has ads and one is about the putative EPIDEMIC of teenage vaping. Oh, the humanity. How do we know this? A young voiceover actress, her voice full of righteous indignation says: “FACT! Over 80% of teens have SEEN ADS FOR VAPING in the past month!!!” Well then. If they’ve seen ads, it’s over! A “Karen-like” woman-scold assures us, “There’s still time to fight this epidemic.” So, is the epidemic of vaping ADS? Or – surely not! – is it of teenagers doing something stupid, unlike every previous generation of teenagers since Cain and Abel? Whichever it is, count on a ribbon campaign, some vaping czars, and lots of government involvement and regulation.

SIX: CULTIVATE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

No, seriously, DO IT. I am more grateful for this site and its family of commenters than I could ever adequately express. Also for my husband, the famous novelist Max Cossack, wonderful friends, fabulous neighbors, loving family, and our beloved country.

SEVEN: APPRECIATE THE GOOD PARTS ABOUT BEING OLD

Okay, I’m hard-pressed to think of any at this particular moment except retirement. My parents both lived to 95 (Daddy still soldiers on), so I figure I have only five more presidential elections to suffer through. If anything could make a person say, “Lord, please take me home now,” it’s a Presidential election campaign. Just five to go. Neener, neener, young ‘uns.

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