Been There, Done That



Today, we are advocating for greater usage of the phrase “been there, done that.”  It’s been around since the early 1970s.  But, it just couldn’t be more appropriate as we oldies age.

Many of us have little left on our bucket list.  We’ve…well…been there and done that.  We’re pretty well traveled, and we’ve already had a fabulous time swimming with a dolphin.

We’re not going to try to achieve our ideal weight, revolutionize our eating habits, suddenly decide to run a marathon, or get a tattoo.  And, no, we’re not going to wear the latest clothing styles, especially the retro designs we really didn’t like when they were first introduced.  Hmmm…changing our hairstyle could be an option due to thinning issues.

Frankly, we’ve read books on that subject long ago.  We’ve seen a similar movie a zillion times.  Okay, the trendy, special effects are terrific and the faces are pretty but, the plots—to us oldies—are now simply clichés.

As for relationships?  We know that their quantity and quality have powerful effects throughout our lives and become even more important as we age.  The good news is that we oldies are better at pruning our social networks and maintaining only those that are emotionally healthy.  It’s okay to jettison so-called “friends,” and it’s never too late to make new ones. Just walk away.  Life’s too short!

We are old enough to distinguish what we want to do and don’t want to do…much less again.  The truth?  We’ve earned the right to be honest.  Say with aplomb: “been there, done that.”  It’s empowering!  Think of it as a personal mantra.  Rehearse it.

Wait…we might consider going to Cuba if only to enjoy seeing American cars from the 50s and 60s, including that Chevy stick shift model in which we learned to drive.

Caveat: this approach does not include things we don’t feel like doing…going to the gym and reducing our intake of fat and sugar. Different category.  You want to survive aging?  There is a must-do list that also includes staying socially and intellectually active.

And, this mantra is definitely not relevant to technology.  Nope.  All this stuff is new to us.  While we have embraced some technological advances that improve our lives, we’re picky.  If it precludes calling *69 to see who last phoned us, buying an encyclopedia from a stranger at the door, using a telephone book, or looking up something in the dictionary, we go for it.  We love Google!

But, don’t push us to get a bunch of apps for things we don’t care about.  Really, it just reminds us of how many apps are pre-installed on our devices that we never use.  And, yes, we like visiting a bookstore and the library, the feel of a hard copy, and turning the pages.  We still get the newspaper delivered, too!  (Well, maybe we’ll make an exception and pack our iPads to read books on vacation.)

Ironically, we now have pretty much what we wanted as kids.  We don’t have to get up at some ungodly hour to get ready for school.  No homework.  Every month we get an “allowance”—a pension or social security—for which we worked long and hard.  We own our own homes and don’t have to live with the parents and play by their rules.  Don’t have to be home by midnight.  As if!  And, gone are the worries about pregnancy and the embarrassment of acne.
We strive for looking good…for our age.  Hey, it’s all relative.  So maybe we can’t wear four-inch heels (a little difficult with our arch support inserts) or skintight jeans.  Or maybe we can.

Eddie Fisher titled his 1999 book Been There, Done That, but it is simply a reminder of our days of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.  And don’t listen to the lyrics of Dr. Dre’s song similarly titled.  Too focused on guns and money.  However, we do like the song’s “outro:” “All these people out talkin’ about who they are, what they got…Heh, it don’t even matter…Been there, done thatAs long as you true to yourself, gotta be true to yourself.”

So, our wrinkled wisdom for today?  Focus on what gives you pleasure.  Do exactly what you want to do—travel, play golf, do volunteer work, dance, go to rock concerts, buy a sports car if you are able to get out the driver’s seat without embarrassing yourself.  Drink expensive liquor.  There is nothing stopping you.  Okay, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration at our age.  Have no regrets thinking no, nah, don’t wanna.  Just respond: been there; done that.  Make it your age-appropriate signature kiss-off.

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