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Sowing wild oats now refers to breakfast, cooked with blueberries

People think about aging more as they get older. I can vouch for that in our 6 a.m. coffee group of over 40 years. We’ve lost too many members during those years and have aged in the process ourselves. Too many of our former members didn’t have that good luck.

Looking at societal benefits and costs is the analytic way. Some of the benefits and negatives:

Many people who are in the older age bracket train and assist younger workers new in that field. Many notable discoveries have been made by individuals at an advanced age. We know that leaders in our government often are in their upper years such as President Abraham Lincoln who delivered the famous Gettysburg Address and freed of the slaves.

And of course, there are problems with aging, such as the costs of providing pensions, health care and sheltered housing. Workers in those fields could have been providing beneficial service to society. On the other hand, now we have an unemployment problem so it could be listed as an advantage at the present time. We need more jobs, not fewer.

The American Association of Retired People recently released a Public Policy Institute Study on the challenges ahead for long-term care. Their main concern was that people are living longer lives and reduced population figures will make supervised support less available — caregivers declining in number when the needs are growing. People also are choosing staying at home when at all possible, increasing the need for supervision. I was very surprised to learn that nearly half the people requiring care were younger than 65.

More could be added in both categories depending on age. Older folks appreciate their older age benefits, which younger taxpayers folks might resent for the need of increased taxation. That would be especially true for those whose parents never used those services due to early death or whose parents were independently wealthy and needed no such services.

There is an old Mexican saying that comes to mind. “It matters a great deal how much a person enjoys the bull fight in which bull is being gored.” Crude, but sometimes truth can seem to be undiplomatically crude.

An elder’s attempt to close with a bit of humor:

If walking was really good for me, the postal delivery worker would be immortal.

Grant me senility to forget the people I never liked, the good fortune to remember the ones I do and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Now that I’m older, here’s what I’ve discovered:

I started with nothing and still have most of it.

My wild oats are enjoyed each morning cooked with blueberries.

I finally have my head on straight, but my body is falling apart.

Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded.

It was easier to get old than it was to get wiser.

It is very difficult to make a comeback when you haven’t been any place.

The only time the world really beats a path to you is when you’re in the bathroom.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter: “What did I come here after?”

Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded.

Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at bernie3024@