This past Sunday I posted on the subject of oldness being in the eyes of the beholder. Today I’d like to steer that subject in a slightly different direction.
“How old are you?”
A common question for people to ask one another, although men typically don’t ask women that. Not if they know what’s good for them.
When I was in my twenties, I was one of those many folks who thought everyone over thirty was old. Really old. That was the age at which a person was officially “over the hill.”
No wonder I hated my thirtieth birthday so much. I was visiting my parents that weekend and, of course, attended their church that Sunday. Doggoned if my pastor father didn’t make a HUGE deal out of my birthday–as if it was some grand accomplishment and not the time I’d dreaded for years.
Forty wasn’t nearly as bad. It couldn’t have been. And I had settled into what would become my most satisfying career (other than the writing I’m doing now in my retirement). Life was good, and I wasn’t as old as I’d felt at thirty.
But then came fifty. Fifteen years until retirement, of all things. (I actually retired only twelve years later.) I was visiting friends in Australia, and Maggie baked me a nice birthday cake. They gave me a complete boxed set of CDs by my favorite Australian group, The Seekers.
A great celebration, but that didn’t change the fact that I was fifty. Going on ancient.
“You’re only as old as you feel.” Great words if you don’t feel old.
But sometimes I do. I look at the medicines I take: thyroid, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes (not insulin, thank goodness), acid reflux. And let’s not forget the daily baby aspirin. While I consider myself to be in good health, am I being realistic–if it takes that much medicine to keep me that way? And hearing aids to keep me hearing MOST things?
I have some cysts that my doctor can remove, but without guaranteeing that it will take away my discomfort. Not exactly painful, but sufficiently uncomfortable that it prevents me from getting a really decent night’s sleep most of the time.
And what about my driving? Just recently I’ve determined that–where possible–I should leave nighttime driving to my wife. Thank goodness I’m still doing fine in daylight.
If I’m only as old as I feel, I must admit that some days I feel really ancient.
But why fret about it? The passing of time just brings my eternal move to Heaven a bit closer.
What about you? How old do you feel? Won’t you share in a comment?
I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.
“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.
My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.