Friday, January 18, 2013

Going 60 in 2013

2013 is my 60th year.

Over the hill? Hell, I heard that at 40, so I’m not sure what that makes 60.

Going downhill fast?

Well, put me on my skis and I’d be glad to go downhill fast. I still can and will for as long as possible (as long as there aren’t any moguls involved).

I have a lot of company in this transition to 60. My Oswego Catholic High School class of 1971 will, in fact, celebrate 60 as a group in August. And much of my Class of 1975 friends from the University of New Hampshire turn 60 in 2013.

So I’m in good company.

But this one, as my friend and classmate Martha said during lunch the other day, feels different.

Turning 40 was a no-brainer. Big party.

Turning 50 was a no-brainer. Bigger party.

Turning 60? This one requires some thought.

The thing we want to believe about aging is that we don’t age at all. At least, that’s what we want to believe.

We look in the mirror and think we can still see the 20 or 30 or even 40 year old in there behind the crow’s feet, the sagging chin and the gray hair. Sure, hallucination, LSD flashback, whatever.

We believe we continue to be as sharp and as quick on the uptake as we once were. We believe we can still climb every mountain, ford every stream (follow every rainbow, ‘til we find our dream).

But, at 60, we come to accept that we’re not always the sharpest knife in the drawer and that the knees and the lower back pain sometime keep us from the mountain.

Just the other day, I had organized my clothes the night before and got up very early in anticipation of the snowstorm that came during the morning commute, and I got to my freelance assignment in plenty of time. Only the assignment wasn’t Jan. 16; it’s Feb. 6. I had completely misread the press release.

Last week on the treadmill my beats per minute on my heart monitor suddenly spiked to a number I’d never seen before. Holy crap! Onset of a heart attack!?

Things are changing for sure at 60.

But, hey, that doesn’t mean we stop … maybe rest and nap occasionally but never stop.

“Got fuel to burn, got roads to drive,” according to Neil Young.

Lots of fuel. Lots of roads. At 60, or faster.
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