Friday, April 26, 2013

Too much sitting on my lazy angst

I’ve been a bad, bad Boomer about my angst.

I haven’t written in this space for weeks.

I can chalk it up to a number of factors: being busy with other things, both professional and personal, and being just plain lazy about getting these words on paper (or words online, as the case may be).

I’ve learned, in the almost five years since I retired from my newspaper job, that my priorities about being retired and working - working retired -- haven’t changed all that much.

I prioritize my day and my freelance work according to an earnings hierarchy: The best paying jobs have the highest priority, the lesser-paying jobs have mid-level priority, and the no-paying work have the least priority.

Writing my Boomer Angst falls into the no-paying category.

And sandwiched in there -- in a rambling, no-set-criteria kind of way -- is my need to just load the car with the gear necessary to spend some time skiing or at the beach surfing or playing golf or just traveling to change the scenery.

It’s not that there isn’t some angst to write about.

I’m approaching my 60th birthday, and I’ve been processing the idea of being 60 years old more heavily than I did at 30 or 40 or 50.

Sixty, when I was 20 and 30, seemed old. It’s not helped by the fact that my Dad started falling into failing health in his 60s, dying at 64 from a respiratory ailment. (Thank goodness my Mom is still chugging away at 87 plus to convince me -- rightly or wrongly -- that I have her longevity genes.)

At 60, I don’t perceive myself as being old, but perception, as we know, can be illusion. We Baby Boomers tell ourselves that 60 is the new 50. But, in fact, 60 is 60 no matter how much of a time warp you might want to try to create.

 Issues of physical and mental health carry more weight

Why is it, for example and speaking of weight, did I gain a lot of the weight back that I lost a couple of years ago? My diet didn’t change appreciably. My exercise regimen didn’t change. Is my metabolism, like an old furnace, just not burning the fuel the way it used to?

And why is it that my 7 iron results in only about 100 yards on the gold course when it used to produce 120 yards? I feel fit, but am I getting less flexible as I get a little more achy in the joints?

Fortunately, there are many, many more positives these days to approaching 60 to counterweight any agnst..

My wife and I are happy empty nesters who revel in the opportunities to come and go, travel to and fro.

My daughter and her husband are looking for a house to buy.

My son is happily engaged in wonderful work at Columbia University.

My stepdaughter is pregnant with child No. 2 while her daughter (granddaughter Rylin) is the source of endless amusement (and the occasional bug du jour that happens to be going around her daycare).

In sum, everyone that I care about is doing just fine.

Every age has to be tempered by attitude. My attitude at 60, while contemplative, is upbeat.

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