The joy of aging

By TOM WOERNER
Posted 7/6/22

Anyone who has looked at me knows I’m aging. The hair I have left is graying and I move slower. I have aches and pains in areas I didn’t even know existed until recently. I’m …

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The joy of aging

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Anyone who has looked at me knows I’m aging. The hair I have left is graying and I move slower. I have aches and pains in areas I didn’t even know existed until recently. I’m certainly not dead, but now into my second half century, I’ve learned to receive joy in different places.

I realized this last week when I got pleasure out of baking and household shopping.

Being a teacher on vacation, I have some time on my hands these days. Trying to push myself to accomplish things this year, I found myself in the  kitchen last week. There, I found a bounty of vegetables well-meaning family members have given me. I have learned one person can eat only so much fried squash.

This realization inspired me to turn one zucchini the size of a football into what I must admit was a great-tasting hunk of zucchini bread. Yeah, that’s right, I’m proud of something I baked. I enjoyed the experience and I will probably do it more as there are still more vegetables ripening on the counter.

Like I say, getting joy in different places. My dad told me and my siblings thousands of times to do something productive with our time and I’m trying to follow that advice.

A few days later I once again realized aging is changing me and the things that make me smile. There I was looking for bed sheets and frankly becoming excited about the prospect of a new sleeping surface. I’ve probably bought sheets before, but I don’t remember enjoying the process and becoming excited about putting sheets on my bed.

Next time, I won’t buy the bargain brand so maybe they will actually fit. There is probably another column there somewhere.

I know I have strange experiences these days, but don’t judge me. The only difference between me and most people is I post some of my experiences in this very public place. Most people only laugh at themselves and I choose to provide the opportunity to share laughable moments with readers.

Sunday morning it hit me again. There I sat in my recliner with my canine friend soaking it in on the couch, listening to YouTube recordings of old-time country music. Willie, George, Waylon and Hank brought back memories of those days in the ’80s when I lived my teen years here in Dunn.

Then, more modern artists like George Strait and Randy Travis appeared on my playlist. What I once called contemporary music is now on the oldies list. Wow, where has the time gone?

I suspect, and I hope, I have many more new experiences, pleasures and realizations as I maneuver the aging process.

At the risk of jinxing myself, all my grandparents lived into their mid 80s, with two crossing the 90-year benchmark. Trust me, I’m fully aware  people my age and older die of many different things, but there is a good chance I have 30-plus more trips around the sun. I hope they are filled with zucchini bread, clean sheets, good music and whatever experience I encounter next.

Tom Woerner writes for The Daily Record and is former editor of the Harnett County News. Reach him at woernertmw@yahoo.com.

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