Today is my birthday. My 65th birthday, more accurately. I know it is because the government sent me a Medicare card. That means I’m officially old, right? It set me back a bit when it arrived, but it got me thinking about a lot of things.
How Did I Get Here?
I honestly never thought I would reach this age. I was told three times in my life to buy the plot, set my affairs in order and get ready to go. Well, I guess I just don’t work and play well with others, though, because I refused. The last time, I was released from the surgeon’s care the day before my 50th birthday, an age I was told I would never reach. And here I am 15 years later.
So Here I Sit
What does it mean? Well, in the most simplistic terms, it means I have experienced six-and-a-half decades of living. They say that in the last half of the 20th century, more things were discovered than in all of history before that. I don’t know if that’s true, quite honestly, but there were many, many things my now-aging eyes were witness to.
What Happened Along The Way
Sputnik. Duck and cover drills. The Space Race. The assassination of John F. Kennedy. The moon landing in 1969, offset by the shocking murders perpetrated by the Charles Manson family a month later. Woodstock. I got married before that first Atari ping pong ball jumped across that line on the screen. I grew up with movies at the big theater with curtains on the stage on Saturday afternoons. Watch movies at home? Yeah, right. Phones were black boxes with curled cords. Had you told me way back when that I would be able to run my entire life from a little rectangle held in my hand, I would have laughed hysterically. I could go on and on. There was just so much!
And the technology! Some days I am sorta kinda well-versed in it. Other days I blatantly suck. There are times when I simply don’t want to learn one more damn thing. (Being officially old does that to ya! LOL) And then there are days when I eagerly suck up knowledge like it’s the best milk shake in town.
Slowly I Turn
And as much as it pains me to admit it, I am slowing down. I move slower, I think slower. I used to be a little dynamo. People could barely spot my vapor trail back in the day. Ancient history now. My skin is drying out at an incredible pace. There are lines on my face. We won’t discuss hair color as I’m still into hiding it. Maybe not for too much longer, though.
Things That Might Have Been
Regrets? Sure. We all have them. Not spending enough time with those I loved in the quest for the almighty buck. Not becoming a lawyer (something I would have been REALLY good at with my big mouth) because it took too long. Not embracing things I truly loved but embracing what I was told I was supposed to love. Swallowing too much BS from folks I honestly thought had my back. There are more.
The Joy Of It All
But you know what? There were (and are) many, many joys. Family, good friends, fun times, babies born, hugs, kisses, laughter. And I’m still waking up on this side of the sod. Does it get any better than that? Maybe, but waking up means you have another chance, one more shot at loving better, caring more, doing something for someone other than yourself.
So today I am officially old. And that’s okay. I always remember something I saw years ago on an email tagline. It was on my mind as I woke up this morning. “Never regret growing old. So many are denied the privilege.”
Please watch the video. It’s a great one.