Billingsley’s Bullets: The art of growing old

By From page A5 | September 06, 2017

As you age, you become more intolerant of boring people and boring activities. We are taught to always be patient with boring people. Listen to them until you are blue in the face or until you scream, “I have to go now!” Also, we are taught that it is impolite to leave a boring cocktail party or a boring church sermon.

• As you pass 60 years of avoiding the Grim Reaper, you also learn the art of acceptance. As life becomes shorter, it becomes more precious — another good reason for eliminating boredom in your life.

Avoiding boring events becomes easier as you age. Being sober with drunk people is a near-death experience. In your 60s you have no problem saying “adios” and “I’m out of here.”

If your job bores you, one-third of your life is dull and depressing. When you include your sleep time, one half of your conscious life is frustrating and depressing. What happens if your marriage is also boring? It probably means both of you have lost your enthusiasm for life and love has left town.

Ongoing boredom usually makes you fatter and shorter. A perpetual bombardment of boredom feels like when you have to wait four hours in the emergency room, waiting for someone to rescue you.

Boredom is contagious. You can give it to your spouse and your kids. I know one family that has four generations of boring people. They average four visitors a year …. short visits.

I suggest that people who watch seven hours of daytime TV daily are boredom addicts!

• In his book, “Courage — The Joy of Living Dangerously,” the author Oslo offers the following advice: “Boredom simply means that the way you are living is wrong, hence it can become a great event, the understanding that ‘I am bored and something has to be done, some transformation is needed.’”

Oslo is right. When you are bored to tears, do something to eliminate it. If you believe life is all about boredom and it’s okay to expect nothing better in life, I hope you change soon.

• These days I am a danger to society! Since my stroke 2 ½ years ago, I have fallen 12 times. When you see me walking toward you, cross the street before I fall on you.

So far I have not broken any bones or furniture. My children now yell “timber” when I enter their house. They open the door for me to grab. As soon as my fingers touch the door, they grab the kids and run inside.

My alleged friends continue to create pools regarding my next fall. Whoever guesses the next time I fall wins the pot. If I break a bone, I receive 10 percent of the pot.

• After a good rain, the air feels fresh and clean. This may be a good marriage counseling suggestion — only argue during water-gun fights or when you shower together.

One of our readers said to me that “it’s impossible to predict what you will write in your next column.” I enjoyed her comments and told her that totally predictable people are afraid of me. Sometimes I am a little afraid of me, too.

• If you are going to have fun in life, you have to take a gamble in your life. Those who never gamble, never win.

• I have decided not to become a bank robber. With my bum right knee, I could not run out the bank’s front door, and I would probably fall in the parking lot.

Most banks have cameras now, and a lot of local people would recognize me in the picture. Once I were recognized, the police would know where to find me. They would immediately check the donut shops and find me with a glass of milk and an old-fashion donut or two. The sad part is, the police would not allow me to take the milk with me, and they would eat my donuts.

• Olympic world champion swimmer Michael Phelps recently lost by two seconds in a swim race on TV with a fake shark. My goal is to race a real-life shark in the next Olympics. If I have a live shark next to me or in back of me, I will create a new world record — getting away from the shark and thus winning a gold medal.

Bob Billingsley is an El Dorado Hills resident and monthly columnist for Village Life.

Bob Billingsley


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