Godbey: Wisdom comes with age

Published 1:38 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2023

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By Jack Godbey


Growing older has many privileges. For one, you can get by with things that would embarrass the typical young person. For example, if you call someone by the wrong name, it’s OK. Just blame it on being old. You can pee anywhere you want, including in your pants, and blow it off as being old. You can let one rip in the middle of the Dollar General and then just smile and say, “Sorry, I’m old,” and no one will say a word.

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I recall going into town for our weekly shopping trip when I was a child. I always took notice of the older men sitting along Main Street. They would tell exaggerated stories of the size of the fish they caught last week while trading pocketknives back and forth. I always wished I could sit and listen to their stories, but my mother had a firm grip on my hand and wasn’t about to let me get anywhere close to strangers.

Now that I’m getting older, I realize that with age comes wisdom that we don’t have as youngsters. As a young man, I often felt like life was a bowl of soup, and all I had was a fork. However, I’ve learned to slow down and wait for the spoon with age. There are other bits of wisdom that I’ve gained as well. For example, I believe silence is golden — unless you have kids, it’s very suspicious. An entire wall can be sacrificed to crayon art in a short time.

People always say, “Out of sight, out of mind.” I believe whoever said that never had a spider disappear in their bedroom. I’ve heard diet experts say that we shouldn’t eat at night. If that’s true, then why do we have a light bulb in the fridge? I think it’s there to light the way to leftover fried chicken that tastes so much better at 2 a.m.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, we should focus on one task at a time. I had my headphones on, listening to some 1980s rock entirely too loud, and decided to vacuum the floor. After finishing three rooms, I noticed the vacuum wasn’t picking up very well and decided to investigate. Once I removed my headphones, I realized the vacuum wasn’t even on. Is there some way I can blame that on aging?

I find it amusing when someone says, “Expect the unexpected.” Doesn’t expecting the unexpected make it expected? Maybe I’m missing something, but that seems odd to me. I’ve been told to always give 100 percent in everything you do unless you are giving blood, then maybe not so much.

Although I’m a little older now, I’m still swift as a gazelle. OK, an old one run over by a Land Rover eight days ago, but still a gazelle. Still, I’m thankful I don’t have to hunt for food. I have no idea where bologna sandwiches live.

One of the things that I’ve learned in life is that you are unique, just like everyone else. Some days, you’re the bird; some days, you’re the statue. If cocoa beans grow on trees, chocolate is officially a fruit, and most of all, beauty fades, but dumb is forever.