When I was young I couldn’t imagine life past the age of forty. By then I would be wealthy, retired, and, um,--------doing something. Well, two of those three didn’t happen and now, holy crap, I just turned 60!! Totally uncharted territory, so I thought I’d share what it’s like to be at this point on the timeline.
I feel terrific except I hurt all the time. Never everywhere but always somewhere. Granted much of this pain is self-inflicted because I maintain a rigorous level of physical activity, but I can’t help but fantasize sometimes how uncomfortable it’s gonna feel to be wearing this meat suit around when I’m 80.
Things go wrong quickly and return to normal slowly. For instance, yes, I still sometimes eat a meal that I know is going to punish me. I once bounced back like the next day; now I’m pretty much voluntarily signing up for a 4 day/3 night cruise on turbulent seas.
What do sleeping all night and a Bigfoot sighting have in common? They rarely happen, that’s what. Muscle mass is supposed to decrease 10% every decade after age 40. That statistic pales in comparison to what’s happened to my bladder, which has apparently shrunk from Big Gulp down to shot glass size.
Mentally I experience a degree of mellowness I never expected. It appears I won’t be famous or infamous. Arriving at peace with one’s strengths and limitations is most definitely a good thing.
I used to think some principles were true; now I know. I know that you can’t be young and wise—young and smart, for sure, but not young and wise. Wisdom comes only with experience. I know that time is not on my side, so I am harshly intolerant of people who waste it—not theirs, mine.
I especially know that it’s important to focus on what’s important, and that very little is truly important. The houses, cars, clothing, possessions—collectively, the stuff we work so hard to acquire—ultimately possess you instead of vice versa. Fantastic experiences and relationships are what life’s all about.
My age goal is triple digits, time-wise the equivalent of living from 20 until now all over again. Wow, I went to Woodstock that year!! "With a little help from my friends" (in medical science), as Joe Cocker sang at that gathering, I look forward to letting you know what it’s like to be a centenarian.