Just Sayin’: The ‘Joys’ of Old AJ (Pronounced ‘Age’)

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OK, in honor of being absolutely truthful (you can stop rolling your eyes now) there really are many joys to be found/discovered as one moves into the doddering years.

Well, there’s one of the joys right there. Webster defines “doddering” as being unsteady on one’s feet. You might as well print that one right across my forehead. I know, I know. Knee surgery is on the list! But … and herein lies the joy part … I do have places to which I aspire to dodder. I appreciate the fact that I have places to go and people to see. And as a bonus, some are even glad to see me. I may take longer to get there. Heck no, I WILL take longer to get there, but I have someplace I need/want to be when I do get there. That is truly a blessing.


And I’m not as careful about what I say anymore, either. I know others probably tsk tsk and whisper to one another, “Well, you just have to forgive her. She’s oooold, you know!” I love that! Irreverence has always been part of my lexicon, but I used to feel guilty about it. Kinda. Not anymore! Not even ‘kinda.’ I’m comfortable enough with me that I give me permission to be irreverent. In fact, I RELISH it! I have lived long enough and seen enough to really understand that there is TRULY “nothing new under the sun” — so my irreverent thoughts are probably no great news to the universe.

Oh, and yes, I cry … a LOT! Old people get emotional, you know. But then, I’ve always been a crier. My mother liked to say and I just filled up to my eyeballs then ran over. Or to put it another way, my husband liked to declare that I’d even cry at a stop light. But if I ever felt apologetic about it … I don’t anymore. People tend to forgive old folk for getting emotional.

And here’s to being a teacher. Yes, I’ve been a teacher the majority of my life, but I find that my teaching these days includes information I’ve garnered from a broad spectrum of experience. Sometimes stuff comes out of my mouth that I didn’t know 40 or 50 (or 60) years ago. Sometimes I can’t tell you where I learned something, but other times I can recall vividly when and where I figured something out which turned out to be pertinent to the subject at hand. I think most people that have inhabited this planet for an extended period of time have pertinent information to share. The listener just has to get past the, “… I remember whens.”

In regard to that subject: On one recent visit, one of my children said to me, “Mom, can we just have a moratorium on ‘I remembers’ until after 10 a.m.?” I guess they felt they needed their coffee wits about them in order to absorb all the pithy wisdom that was being dispensed. Or not.

Oh, I know I’ll hear some of you say that bit about being as old as you feel. But ask any senior and they’ll tell you that it all depends on when are asking. Getting out of bed in the morning can be 30 or 40 years different than after my second cup of coffee.

And then there’s this: The average age of the population is getting older, right along with me … which means I’m getting more and more company into this old-age club. I also recognize the fact that this is one club in which membership is not optional, and the only way to get out of membership is to age out.

Given that bit of statistic, I’ll bet there are at least two or three of you out there who belong to this club along with me, and I would bet each and every one of you has a story to tell.

And sharing the stories is the best part of all, even if they are full of “I remember whens”.

Adrienne Jacoby
Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years. A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes … she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.
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11 Responses

  1. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    Thanks for the morning smile, AJ. I plan to dodder through 2019 with as few aches and pains as possible by keeping the bottle of Triple Flex close at hand. And the calcium and vitamin D.

  2. Avatar Robert Wallenberg says:

    AJ: You hit the nail on the head. I also belong to your doddering club. Enjoy each day. Like people holding the door open for me. My auto disabled placard is a blessing. Occasional drooling upsets me – but for the most part, “Life is Good”.

  3. Avatar erin friedman says:

    I hear ya, Adrienne! Another of the joys of aging — the patience to watchfully wait and smile knowingly while our children figure out all the things we’d be happy to tell them but…..as Glinda put it: “You wouldn’t have believed me….you had to learn it for yourself.” Thanks for the morning smile.

    • Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

      Oh, my heaven’s Erin. Ain’t that the truth!! And the cherry on the top of that particular joy, ,is that once in a GREAT while, they even acknowledge the fact that they listened to me . . . or, more frequently, SHOULD have listened to me. Yup . . . what Glinda said!!

  4. Deb Segelitz Deb Segelitz says:

    Someone very dear to me just turned 25. “How can that be,” I asked him, “When *I* am still 25!”

    About that statement: 1) It definitely made me show my age, in that “where have the years gone?” kind of way, and 2) in my head I’m more like 35, not 25, but I vividly remember 25, so how dare that young pup, who is eternally 14 years old in my memory, be 25?

    I’m chronologically 51, but I definitely make parent-noises (aka grunts) when I get out of bed, nowadays. Mentally I am often an eight year old boy. Emotionally, I go from hot-headed hormonal teenage girl to getting-wiser-all-the-time crone.

    Here’s to getting better with the years, even if some things decline! Or droop. Oh, the droop! 🙂

    • Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

      LOL, DEb. . . . I had the same reaction when I realized that both of my children were in their 50’s. My comment to my daughter was, “How can you guys be in your 50’s when I AM still in MY 50’s? Now, if my knees would just stop reminding me . . . .

    • Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

      At one of my high school reunions, a friend remarked, “If you ever wondered if there is such a thing as gravity, just look at your knees.” Droop indeed.

  5. Avatar Barbara Cross says:

    Adrienne — You certainly know how to put into words what many of us feel. Yes, being older does give one more freedom in what we say and do. We heave learned how to speak up… still with respect and yet with honesty. It really is a joy to be able to follow the years into old age with pride of accomplishments ( or not) ….. most important of all…. DO NOT LOSE YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR….. That helps get us through symptoms of aging — The drooping and the “Brain Farts”etc. Everyday is an adventure and each day is a day to count one’s blessings…..

    • Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

      Barbara, I wouldn’t mind it quite so much if it were only the brain that was farting . . . . LOL!!And in my humble opinion, laughing doth oil the hinges!!

  6. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    Great article Adrienne. Movies and literature generally deal with young or youngish people….which is probably why the joys of age are such a surprise to people who are lucky enough to live longer. I love your humor and joie de vivre!

    • Avatar Peggy Elwood says:

      Good point! I keep saying I don’t know how to do this old age thing…The joys and the challenges of old age are surprising. It was refreshing to see Clint Eastwood at 88 on the big screen..saggy thin skin and all in The Mule. Pretty much go to all the movies that feature mature actors and stories. I am finding doddering requires much patience…with myself and from my friends….