FREE NEWSLETTER

Feeling It

Richard Quinn

IT’S FINALLY HAPPENED: I feel old. Never mind that I am old. Until recently, I didn’t feel old. One contributor to my changed mood: At 78, I’m now the same age as my father was when he died 34 years ago.

I’ve been trying to figure out why I started feeling old. The onset of the pandemic and my recent health scare are likely candidates. Before the past two years, never did I worry about my health.

I also know my appetite has changed. It’s not that I don’t enjoy eating, but rather I just don’t want to eat as much. I’ve joined the ranks of seniors taking home doggy bags from the restaurant.

My wife and I were recently at a diner for breakfast. I leaned over and said to her, “What are we doing? We have seven-figure assets and here we are asking for takeout containers so we can get two meals for the price of one.”

She replied, “Maybe that’s why we have what we have. Our generation looks at things differently—don’t waste anything.”

I’ve also been afflicted by that dreaded indicator of old age—the nap. It’s not that I plan to nap. It just happens. If I’m home around 3 p.m. and sit down, it’s lights out.

Not too many years ago, I used to observe—not exactly kindly—the actions of the old folks on the vacation tours we took. Their mobility was poor, they seemed challenged by technology, they complained a lot and a few were just a tad obnoxious with their demands.

My mobility has slowed a bit, but it isn’t too bad. I’ll admit that getting the golf ball out of the cup is now as challenging as getting it in. I do complain, mostly about the actions of younger generations and politicians. As far as being obnoxious goes, I try my best to avoid that. But I find that, as I age, I’ve become more outspoken. What have I got to lose?

These days my roving eye focuses mostly on a cool car or a cute puppy. My wife of 53 years shows her extreme confidence in me—or my age—by occasionally saying, “Did you see the outfit on that blonde?”

I also seem to be freer with money as I age. But my wife would disagree. I just had a tire blowout and the new tire cost $377. Before I could finish my full rant over the cost, my wife said, “Oh, stop complaining, you act like you’re a pauper.”

Just spend your money, she added, what else are you going to do with it? So we went out to dinner.

Browse Articles

Subscribe
Notify of
13 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
T
T
4 months ago

I recently observed that “It must be nice to have that kind of money” when my wife told me about a friend of hers flying over to England to hear his husband play a newly re-built church organ. She looked straight at me and replied, “We do. You just haven’t caught up with that fact.” Egg on face moment!

David Powell
David Powell
5 months ago

Odds are good your generation will live about 13 years longer than your dad’s, on average — 1910 cohort longevity: 51.4 years, 1945 cohort: 64.7. And your dad lived longer than his cohort average by more than 25 years.

Plus you are still WAY too feisty to leave this vale of tears any time soon! 😉

Last edited 5 months ago by David Powell
CJ
CJ
5 months ago

 “I just had a tire blowout and the new tire cost $377.” I’d be ranting too. It has nothing to do with how much money one has: especially if that person is an average Joe or Jane who only amassed said money through careful, painstaking savings over multiple decades.

Prices way out of whack with an item’s value is frustrating, including items and services I’ve watched triple or quadruple in price over the past year. No one likes to feel ripped off.

Last edited 5 months ago by CJ
DrLefty
DrLefty
5 months ago

Taking food home from the restaurant is a matter of not wanting to overeat, not economy, for me. And I always do eat my leftovers if I take them home.

I’m only in my 60s, but I’ve been a power napper for awhile. I can fall asleep quickly, sleep for 20-25 min, wake up alert, and then that gets me through the rest of the day.

It’s interesting you mentioned your dad. Mine died of a heart attack at age 61 and 8 months. I’m 61 and 10 months, and I thought about that milestone leading up to turning 61 and all during this year. Hitting and passing the age where he died was meaningful to me because I’ve taken better charge of my health in recent years. I’d never thought much about longevity because my dad and both of my grandfathers died in their 60s, but my mom is 80 and going strong. Plus they all smoked and I never did. Now I’m realizing I’d better take a longer view, both in terms of my financial and physical health.

Nate Allen
Nate Allen
5 months ago

I’ll admit that getting the golf ball out of the cup is now as challenging as getting it in. 

Here are a few options. (Link)

Richard Gore
Richard Gore
5 months ago

I guess the one thing that I’ve gained from living long enough to be a senior citizen is the desire to be kinder to people. You never know if you might be the last straw for someone. Fate is cruel to some and I don’t want to make things worse for anyone.

R Quinn
R Quinn
5 months ago
Reply to  Richard Gore

A very good point. One tiny thing I have been doing for the last two years is being overly generous with servers and others when it comes to tips.

Andrew Forsythe
Andrew Forsythe
5 months ago

Dick, I likewise always enjoy your perspective and contributions, so hope you keep up the good work.

As for the signs of aging you mention, I’m “only” 70 but share several of them. The eating less doesn’t bother me and is undoubtedly healthier.

I often take naps—I find they’re a great tonic. And not necessarily just for us older folks. During my law practice days I had a couple of middle aged colleagues who regularly took brief naps in their office after lunch, and swore by them.

George Counihan
George Counihan
5 months ago

Keep moving sir … don’t stop … About to start my daily workout … Your fitness is on loan and the rent is due every day!

John Goodell
John Goodell
5 months ago

I always enjoy your wit and wisdom.

Guest
Guest
5 months ago

You may feel old Mr. Quinn but your writing is still sharp, well thought out and valuable. I look forward to many more years of your wisdom please.

R Quinn
R Quinn
5 months ago
Reply to  Guest

Thank you, I appreciate your comment.

There weren’t many of us born in the middle of WWII, but it appears we have been lumped with Traditionalists or Silent Generation born before 1945. I’ll accept traditionalist, but I’m thinking “silent” definitely does not apply.😎

Thirty years ago I had a fantasy of writing a book. I even had the title, “American Cheese on White Bread with Mayo” Talk about putting a target on your back. I was saved by my inability to stick with any writing beyond 700 words. Thank heaven for HumbleDollar.

DrLefty
DrLefty
5 months ago
Reply to  R Quinn

I’d read your book, and if you start now and write 700 words a day, your book will be out by the time you’re 80!

Free Newsletter

SHARE