5 Dozen Candles
In the Twinkling of an Eye
When I was two years old, it took an entire lifetime to get to four.
At the age of twelve, sixteen and the opportunity to get a driver's license seemed like an eternity away.
At twenty-four, running five to ten miles a day, my mind and body buoyed by amicable endorphins, forty was as far away and as foreign to me as Jupiter.
At forty, then fifty, long after I'd outgrown the Peter Pan syndrome as well as the svelte thirty-inch waist, and longer yet after the dial on the bathroom scale settled like a sleek Lamborghini in the parking lot of 154, I began giving more serious thought to Einstein's theory of relativity.
Or at least my take on it.
Time punctuates the notion that everything is relative. That's right, friends, it's all relative. And it seems, at least from the metaphorical beach I'm standing on today, that the relatives are moving faster and faster.
A few days ago, another chronological tick resounded like one of Quasimodo's massive bells in my head. And while my novice attempts to utilize the Law of Attraction compelled me to pay due diligence to my daily affirmations, I could not help but feel a twinge of sadness.
I had turned sixty.
We chase after age until we come upon it...only to then make a futile attempt to run from it.
Ah, 60. It seems that I encountered you oh, so quickly.
So what am I going to do about it?
Actually, I'm very thankful and blessed to have reached this major milestone in my life. Truly, as I unravel some of the rusty reels of film footage that have taken up dormant Rip Van Winkle residency in my brain, I can remember close calls in my life--illnesses, accidents, and a handful of other dangerous situations--each of which could have spelled an early exit for me.
So, from that perspective, then, I'm glad I'm sixty. In fact, I'm surprised that I've made it this far.
But like Captain Hook's hypervigilance for a ticking clock signalling the near proximity of a hungry saltwater crocodile, I'm sensitively attuned to the beating of my own Big Ben.
Aging is one thing. But aging with dignity , now there's the challenge!
Of the following, what is your top Bucket List choice?
Transitioning Joyfully into the Autumn and Winter of My Life
So how does one go about aging gracefully?
Every individual will find their own way. The following is just a brief outline of my strategy, wisdom I've gleaned from my reading, watching, listening, conversations, and moments of inspiration. The main thing is that it works for me.
- Be good to yourself. A decade or so ago, I discovered a truth. The universe will keep presenting me with the same life lesson until I finally learn it. Whenever you find the same challenging theme continually baffling you, take a step back and try to be as objective as you can. Is there a lesson to be learned? Finding that lesson and learning from it is part and parcel of being good to yourself.
- Be good to others. Hold on now! Isn't that backwards? Actually, no. A person struggling with inner conflict will not be able to be genuinely good to others.
We could actually stop with these two gems. The following could actually be sub-categories of the above dynamic duo. But for the sake of detail and as a smoother transition to the conclusion of this piece, I'm including them as separate concepts.
- Do what you love to do. I work for myself on eBay (and alternative venues). Having the best boss in the world who drives me like a dog but pampers me like a kitten, and sincerely loving the work I'm involved in and the people that I meet along the way, provide me with the opportunity and the unabashed freedom to do other things I enjoy...like drafting two Hubs simultaneously at 2:34 on a Wednesday afternoon. I could never do that at my past traditional jobs.
- Say what you need to say. When I first came to the mainland USA from the islands, I used to--I kid you not--mentally plot out what I was going to say before raising my hand in college classes to comment or ask a question. I was ashamed of my pidgin English accent, my minority status, and the color of my skin. To say that I've made a few strides in establishing a healthy self-esteem would be putting it mildly. Long story short, I'm happy to have the best of both worlds--I can mix and mingle adeptly with the educated elite of any race, and I can easily be at home with the laid back and pacific rhythm of the island ways. Simply put, life is too short to live less than truthfully.
- Don't take yourself too seriously. I'm a devout believer in living The Secret . I'm constantly visualizing myself with abundance, prosperity, and philanthropical charity. You could say I'm a throwback to James Thurber's Walter Mitty. My very presence here on HubPages is the result of fantasizing about being a great writer. I can shoot three point baskets with my eyes closed because I see it happening before I actually propel the pent-up energy with my strong legs and guide the ball with the pre-established muscle, tendon, and nerve memory of my shoulder, arm, and fingers. If I were to take myself seriously, I would constantly be riding hard on the brakes whenever approaching life's many bends. I'd forever be second-guessing, questioning, and censoring my ability to be fluid and graceful and decisive. An effective counter for taking oneself seriously? Try this affirmation on for size: Today, I will look my boogeyman square in the eyes and see him for the coward that he is.
CrisSp is a Beautiful and Living Example of Aging Graciously
- Aging Graciously~
Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90...time is a concept that humans created. One thing is for sure, I'm well past my legal age and I'm smiling.
A Malady That Comes With Age
- Two Days After Cataract Surgery
It may surprise quite a few people that cataract surgery is the most common procedure in the United States, if not globally. For all intents and purposes, the procedure is relatively safe and without complications. Just ask Hawaiian Odysseus...
Of Don Quixote and Modern Day Windmills
I don't know about you, but I'm willing to be a modern day Don Quixote. An easy, superficial read of Miguel de Cervantes' protagonist would paint the knight errant as a delusional, misguided idealist. Personally, I see something else. I see a spirited individual who believes in a cause...so strongly, in fact, that he is willing to die for it.
At 60 years of age, or whatever point of time you happen to be at, you've long since gathered up enough information to know what you want. Fear no longer fits into any of your equations, and censorship is best left for the pompous and grouchy.
Just a few days before turning 60, I found myself at the entrance to the California Screamin' roller coaster ride at Disney California Adventure theme park. This was my very first time at the popular theme park, and I had never been on a roller coaster in my life.
Several posted signs cautioned against anyone going on the ride who had heart problems, high blood pressure, arthritis, and other ailments. As I read the warning sign, I mentally ticked off every single health condition listed. Yep, I have that...this one, too...um-hmm, been there, done that. You know, whoever made this sign must've seen my medical chart. In fact, I think they saw me coming and posted this sign right where they knew I'd bump into it. Hmm, what do I do?
My wife gave me an anxious look...you know, the one that asks, "You're not seriously thinking about going on this ride, are you?"
In the two seconds it took for me to look at the long line forming in front of us, I observed that none of the hundreds of people that I saw there, including my 25-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter, were anywhere near the age of sixty. Which left me with only one return look for my wife...you know, the one that replies,
"Okay, then, I'm good to go!"