About Genarians

Being in my eighties I sometimes refer to myself as an octogenarian. More often than not, others refer to me as an old codger. I answer to either term, but when push comes to shove , I prefer octogenarian - its much more distinguished. I do not recall being called any kind of a genarian when I was in my seventies. I can understand why. Someone in his or her seventies is a septuagenarian. That’s a mouthful and sounds more like a body part. Speaking of mouthfuls, how about quinquagenarian for someone in their fifties. The reader may have noticed that I skipped over the term for someone in his or her sixties. That one takes the cake - sexagenarian. I don’t recall that being sixty was especially sexy but its too far back for me to remember.

So what does the future hold? If one gets through their eighties they become a nonagenarian. Crossing over to a nonagenarian comes with mixed blessings. They all have to do with health and mental capacities. If he or she doesn't bring at least fair health and a lucid mind to the table, they run the risk of being called a “ pitifullgenarian”.

The crowning achievement (assuming one is not a pitifullgenarian) is being able to give your age in triple digits. All hail the centenarians! (centenarians, lend me your ears or hearing aids. If all that you are able do is recite to your age, the trip to being a centenarian wasn't worth it.)

Once a centenarian reaches the age of 110, he or she becomes a supercentenarian. Like Superman, supercentenarians are one of a kind. Unlike Superman, he or she definitely has trouble changing clothes.

No matter what kind of a genarian one is, he or she would do well to take to heart the Buddhist teaching on aging: To respect our aging at every stage is the greatest kindness we can offer to ourselves and those we love. Simply put, as you age, try not to make an ass of yourself.

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