If 60 is the New 40 How Old is 90?

Bob and Carla vacationing on the Carolina Coast
Bob and Carla vacationing on the Carolina Coast

What does an 8-year-old know?

I remember walking to school one morning in Memphis, Tennessee when I was around 8 years old. I had just come to the realization that I was probably going to be around long enough to see the Millenium in the year 2000.

I also remember thinking that, if I did live that long, that I would be 56 years old. If I did make it, I would probably not be able to see or hear well enough; possibly be so feeble that I would not be able to appreciably experience this once-in-many-lifetimes event.

If you do the math, you will realize that I am now 68 years old. Contrary to my earlier beliefs, I am still quick mentally and physically, like to drive hot cars and I can still climb trees in my back yard in order to trim out the dead branches near the top.

I still like the way my wife’s waist makes a nice curve that blends into her hips and that her hair is nice to touch and smell.

Taking stock

I also remember a day when I was in still in my thirties that I filled out a 100 point questionnaire that was in one of my pharmacy journals that purported to be able to predict life expectancy, based on my responses to those questions. I remember questions about blood pressure, smoking, various body measurements, personal and family medical history, etc.

After completing the questionnaire and tabulating the results, it indicated that I would probably make it to 89. I remember looking at my pharmacy manager Betty and telling her, “I’m going to have to take better care of myself.”

I had never thought about the reality of living that long. My mind went back to my earlier self-evaluation when I had been walking down the street toward Guthrie Elementary School in the third grade. I really do have to take better care of myself.

OK. Now what?

I had just quit smoking a couple of years before, so I at least gotten that out of the way. I started doing a few things that I knew could make a difference. I started watching what I ate a little more closely. I started jogging three or four miles a couple of times a week and cut back on my alcohol consumption noticeably.

I haven’t done anything scary. I’m not a health nut. I exercise a little with free weights and am careful about salt intake and things like that. I know a lot of it is genetics, but I don’t have any blood pressure, heart, cholesterol or sugar problems.

I also have to credit my faith in God for helping to keep me mentally and spiritually relaxed, with my priorities mostly in order.

If I do make it to 89 or more, I think I will be glad that I kind of woke up a few years ago.

What do you think? Is the reality of retirement age much less fearful for you than you had earlier surmised?


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Comments 10 comments

drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 5 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

I agree with Peggy W. In living our lives, we need to know our purpose as well. Just living life isn't good enough. I alo believe your only as old as you feel. GREAT HUB, Voted-UP!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

No matter how long each of us has it is important to enjoy each decade of life as much as we are able. Time seems to fly as one gets older! At age 8 one looks at a 30 year old as being quite old. Ha! I remember those days!

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

WOW, i hear much about the new forty, fifty, sixty and so on. Cool aritcle and some very good points. I feel like a teenager. I do agree that a positive state of mind makes all the difference. I plan on living to be 115 and by the way won't I feel great being the new 70. Life is wonderful, thanks for the nice refreshing topic to consider! Well Done! :) Katie

DiamondRN profile image

DiamondRN 5 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA Author

Thanks for the visit, James. Sometime in the early 80's one of the TV networks did a feature on Lola Folana. She was wearing a Catwoman-like dance costume. Lola was 42 or 43 and still looked and moved like a ballerina. I think that was when women began to realize that they didn't have to look fat and frumpy after 40.

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

I can remember my grandmas when I was a boy and they were in their 50s. They seemed very old. They wore those half leg stockings and were pear-shaped.

The women of today in their 50s include many who are quite sexy. Times have changed indeed. Myself, I may not make it too long. I'm afraid I concur with Mickey Mantle: "If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself."

DiamondRN profile image

DiamondRN 6 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA Author

There are some mornings, HD!!

His daughter 6 years ago

I am fully convinced our mind and attitude have a lot to do with our age and outlook. However, I do find that my mind and body aren't always in total agreement! :)

DiamondRN profile image

DiamondRN 6 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA Author

Good for him and good for you, FCETier.

FCEtier profile image

FCEtier 6 years ago from Cold Mountain

My father's attitude was evidence of a common point of view. He never thought he was old. It was the next decade that would be old.

ie: When he was 70, he said "You aren't old till you get to be 80" etc.

He lived to be 92 and was still making wise cracks and acting like a smart-ass kid! LOL

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Diamond, You are definitely a young 66, so maybe 60 is the new 40. I agree it makes a big difference as to how we choose to live our lives. I enjoyed your hub very much.

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