I Am Very Old Soon

I would prefer that every year my birthday fall on a cool date like it does this year ….the third Sunday in June. Father’s day and the US Open weekend makes for a guy’s weekend for sure.

I will turn 54 next Sunday. That is a young old person and an old middle age person.

My father and his father had massive and debilitating heart attacks at 56. It killed my grandfather in a week and put my father in a downward spiral until his death at 61. So you can imagine the death clock I have programmed in my mind,

Yesterday I was loading grain at the feed store. I was in the back of the pickup and some young buck was handing me the 50 lb bags and I was stacking. It was time for me to dismount and he had that panicked look like he was about to witness a train wreck.

“Sir… Need some help getting down?”

I jumped off the bed gracefully as I always have but it got me to thinking about my age and my perceived age.

I still feel good but am I kidding myself? Yes my back aches in the morning after any non normal exertion. My reflexes are not as keen. I don’t like to drive at night…never did but now I avoid it.

I didn’t feel well last night after excursion in the high humidity and heat of Saturday.

I have avoided many roles in life because I don’t have children. Never have I been the responsible father or the wise old grandfather that many of my friends are playing now. They were forced into roles that society dictates, behavior norms that I never had to follow.

One thing I do know is life is marching on and I do not know the end time. I decide years ago that I would try and drink up as much life experience as I could manage with out negatively affecting others.

I try to keep current with technology, music, politics, and explore new concepts in science not as a chore but because I like new things.

But at what point do I play the part of an old fool?

Mickey wisely told me something the other day and I confirmed it with my contractor. We were talking about jacking up a sagging house and Mickey said, “The house will tell you when you have jacked it up enough. You will hear it groan and creek but then you will reach a point where it says…STOP! You learn to listen for it.”

I guess I going to keep jacking life for now.


TerryC said...

Great post!

The perceived age thing is funny. I don't consider myself to be old enough to be called Ma'am, but some people have started calling me that.

My mother died at 55. I'll be 50 next year. It bothers me a little, so I try not to think about it.

Ken said...

Keep going........

Phfrankie Bondo said...

...I got my first senior discount at one of my daughter's band concerts six years ago at age 50. I recently got one at a movie theatre.

In the immortal words of Jim Morrison: "I don't know what's gonna happen, man, but I'm gonna get my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames."

You gotta roll, baby, roll!...

terri said...

54 is nothing! I've followed you for how many years now? 3? And I've always loved your zest for life and the way you take it by storm. Everyone should learn to embrace life the way you do. 54 is not old.

Age is nothing but a number. One of the people I admire most is a guy I know from bowling. He's 60 and I would never, ever have guessed he was 60 had he not told me his age. He works hard, but he plays hard too. I want to be like that.

I look at my parents, who used to be young. I remember my kids being born and thinking what young grandparents my parents were. And then their health issues hit and they aged overnight. I refuse to be like that. They are the reason I do things like my bowling leagues and running and photography.

I know physical limitations will eventually dictate the pace of my activities, but I won't let it stop me. I don't want to become an old person spending my days in front of the television waiting for visitors to come see me. I am going to go out and visit those I love and keep seeing the world for as long as I possibly can.

And if I get run over by a train tomorrow, I won't regret the way I lived my life. I don't think you will either.

Judy said...

Good post. Growing old is interesting and it is so different for different people. I am starting to notice changes and can't do all the things I used to do but feel I am doing better than many at my ripe old age of 61. I don't feel that old but I know I am.

Ken said...

This post is getting old too.

Reggie Hunnicutt said...

I'm so old I can;'t see to typr. My knarley nukkles won't bend.

Lickety Splitter said...

The only people who think 54 is old, are people whose opinions have yet to fully form. I enjoyed the post though :)