An old business: Musings on how we age

Bill Shepard

Editor’s note: This is a reprint of a Bill Shepard column that ran last year.

The Aging Business is without question the oldest business on the planet. Someone said that this business is not for sissies!
Do I hear an Amen? Right on, brother, shake that limb again!
The business of growing old began a long time ago in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned. Because of that sin, death was pronounced upon us all.
The moment a person is born, he or she enters into the Aging Business. Some remain in the business longer than others and seem to be more successful, but all finally are overtaken and close the doors. One fellow said that the Aging Business is a “rotten” business, but whether we like it or not, we are all in it!
We did not enter by our own choice, and seldom does one try to leave by his or her own choice. It is left to us to make the best of it that we can.
We hear a lot of humorous stories about the Aging Business and we laugh at them and move on. If one stays in the business long enough, it has a way of becoming no laughing matter! I think I heard another Amen!
I have been in this business for a long time! Most of my friends who entered the business when I did have closed their doors and gone on to start a new location! I find myself complaining about the business at times, especially when I start thinking I’m not making much profit for myself or others by staying on.
I suppose every business goes through periods like that. That’s the kind of feelings that lead to pity parties! I reckon whether we are successful in business or not, most experience those times! Anyway, I have decided that I will stay in business for as long as I can!
Every now and then someone will say to me, and just at the right time, “Bill, you contribute a lot to our church work!” That’s when I get to feeling better about my old business. I start having positive thoughts about myself and the millions like me.
Just the other day, I started thinking that if it wasn’t for folks like me and the multitudes like us, this world would be in real big trouble!
Talk about economic disaster, the world hasn’t seen anything to compare! Just think, if it wasn’t for all the old folks, millions of young folks would be out of a job! Doctors, nurses, lawyers, scientists and health care workers by the millions all depend upon old folks to supply them with employment.
I’m beginning to feel good about myself already.
The next time I go for my doctor appointment, I think I’ll feel better about my visit.
He will not only be helping me, but I’ll be helping him! Of course, he will send me a bill and I can’t send him one! I will have the satisfaction of knowing that I am still a contributor to our society.
The next time you pass one of us old slowpokes, old geezers or has-beens, honk your horn as you go around him and smile. Don’t give him a cold look as you go by, like he might have just slapped your grandma!
Keep in mind, you are in the same business we are in, and if you are as blessed as we have been, one day you will be where we are now! Think about it!

Author: Stephan Drew

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