ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dealing With Middle Age

Updated on September 19, 2013

A Dose of Reality

“Doing the garden,
digging the weeds,
who could ask for more?
Will you still need me,
will you still feed me,
when I'm sixty-four?”

The Beatles

I first heard that song while attending college in 1967; as a huge Beatle’s fan, I instantly went out and bought the album“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and then spent countless hours listening to the genius of the Fab Four.

I have clear memories of listening to this love ballad by Lennon and McCarthy and thinking what a cute song about two little old people, hobbling off into the sunset, supporting each other so they don’t fall. I also remember thinking, and this is the whole point of this article, that when I’m sixty-four I hope someone shoots me and puts me out of my misery.

Well, today I am sixty-four, and I certainly hope nobody takes me up on that offer. I will be watching in all directions for anyone approaching with a loaded gun.

Back in 1967, when this song was recorded, I was eighteen years old and feeling like life was my personal oyster and I was the main shucker! I also felt, that when I reached that ancient age of sixty-four, life would be incredibly difficult and not worth living.

Well my goodness, just how wrong can one young man be?

The family; all gone now, except for me
The family; all gone now, except for me | Source
No way will this kid live to be 64!
No way will this kid live to be 64! | Source

A Look Back

In my defense, I only had personal experiences to base my thoughts upon. Most of my extended family had died by that time. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, all gone by their early seventies, and my mom and dad, both in their late forties by 1967, were slowing down and showing every one of their years on this planet.

Little did I know that within two years of this song’s release, my dad would die of a heart attack three days before his fiftieth birthday, further cementing my belief that life was very difficult for anyone approaching that ripe, old age.

Maybe that partially explains why I lived my earlier life as though my hair were on fire. Risk-taking for me was a way of life in my twenties. I began climbing mountains within five years of hearing this song; I bought fast cars and pushed them to the limit. I took chances that should never have been taken, and I embraced the thrills and chills, wringing every ounce of life possible from those precious moments. It was as though I sensed I needed to get my money’s worth out of life while I was still able, because the clock was ticking and there certainly were no guarantees.

I Am One of the Lucky Ones

Despite my best efforts to burn out at an early age, I somehow survived. I survived the hard drinking! I survived the risk-taking, never breaking a bone or spending time in a hospital. I survived Bill being Bill, perhaps my greatest accomplishment.

I survived, and matured, and then……

A Funny Thing Happened

I woke up one morning and realized that life does not become a burden as you grow older; rather, you gain a finer appreciation for all that is around you.

I found that I loved life. I found that I loved others. I found that I love myself, and in finding those things I realized how much I wanted to live.

So here I am today, sixty-four years of age, and feeling in somewhat of a reflective mood. Will you join me as I tell you what is on my mind?

Reflections on Life

Lessons Learned

I learned that I am not the director of life, and that life does not need my approval. In other words, I learned to accept people and things around me. Once I gave up control, or the illusion of control, my life became incredibly pleasurable.

I learned that beauty is all around me, waiting only for me to notice it. The touch of a lover, the scent of newly-mowed grass, the sight of a young child playing, all are reasons for celebration. The funny thing about it is that I had to become receptive to the beauty that surrounded me before I could truly appreciate it.

I learned that nothing takes my mind off of my problems faster than reaching out and helping others. Being willing to aid someone is the gift that keeps on giving, and as I go about helping another human being I tend to forget about my problems. How does that happen? I don’t know, but I know for a fact that it does.

I learned that the differences between us all are so very small, but the commonalities are great, and if I am willing to concentrate on those things we all have in common, it becomes quite easy to love others.

I learned that my greatest gifts are compassion and empathy. We humans need other humans. We need to know that we are seen. We need to know that we are heard. We need to know that there is at least one damn person who cares whether we live or die. I have the ability to do that for someone today, and for the rest of my days.

I learned that the more I fight life the more I lose. I am not an essential part of existence; life will go on without my participation. However, and here is the miracle….I can become a contributing partner with life. By opening my heart and mind, and embracing life, I can add to the wonder that is all around us. I can contribute, and my contribution may be enough to bring happiness to another person, or in some small way make life better for others. I believe, today, that we can all make a difference AND it is our responsibility to do so.

I learned that the mistakes and tragedies of the past do not define me as a person. They serve, instead, as an ongoing educational process by which I can learn and grow.

I have learned that the only restrictions that can stop me are the ones I have put on myself. I can look back and see this to be true, and I can now go forward knowing that the sky is the limit for this once earthbound traveler.

I learned that if my thoughts and words are positive then my actions will be positive (PIPO), and I learned that a thing called kismet actually works. What goes around comes around, and the best way to insure happiness is to lead a happy life.

Finally, I learned that love is the most important thing in life. Everything else is window-dressing! All of the pain I have endured, all of the heartache, all of the mistakes, all of the excess and deprivation, all have brought me to the realization that true happiness can only be found in a state of love.

I somehow made it....who wouldda thunk it?
I somehow made it....who wouldda thunk it? | Source

Sing Along With The Boys

Now I’m Sixty-four

And I have never been happier! I have been blessed with good health, and my body has responded in wondrous ways. I am not stooped over and infirmed. I am still quite active and enjoying life. Yes, it may be a bit more of a challenge to loosen up these old joints, but they still respond to the whip and move around the racetrack at a steady pace.

I am surrounded by loved ones and friends who constantly give me encouragement, support, and love, and in so doing make me the richest man alive.

I have a son any man would be proud of; I have a loving partner in Bev who is everything I ever hoped for; and I have a new career that challenges me and keeps me motivated and excited.

I have been a teacher, a son, a father, an uncle, a husband, and the recipient of more love than one person could ever hope for, and today I spread my arms, look to the heavens, and say…..

I AM SIXTY-FOUR AND I LOVE MY LIFE….and….

I LOVE ALL OF YOU!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Apt song and Happy Birthday, Bill. Have a good 64th!! A wonderful sharing from someone who has seen much from life....and I'm sure you have much more to offer that we've not already seen! All the best, BIll.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 4 years ago

      Let me be the first to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILLY! This is such a lovely hub filled with so many sentiments that I also hold close to my heart. If was hard to pick one that stood out but the smell of fresh mowed grass...is what I picked..in its simplicity means so much..first the old body is still able to mow...I am breathing in nature and that means I am alive..lastly I have a lawn to mow when many do not..so cannot help but feel thankful..God bless you my dear friend..Here is my birthday song for you..

      http://youtu.be/R_zi4OxJpY0

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILL!!!

      Congrats on your birthday my friend!

      You are 64 going on 21 it seems at times - I hope you have an AWESOME DAY and enjoy it!

      Thinking of you as always my friend! :-)

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Heh Billy Happy Birthday and what comes next... well 65 for certain and then life just gets better... write young, think young and stay young... we all love you bro... so much wisdom in this hub.

      Hugs from Canada

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Well glad you slowed it down so you could make it to 64!

      Happy Birthday buddy!!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Happy Birthday, Bill. You have lived a full life and one we can all learn from and do learn from as you write. Glad we met here on HP. Looking forward to more of your wisdom through the years to come. Blessings and hugs!

    • Renee Abbott profile image

      Renee Abbott 4 years ago from Arizona

      Happy Birthday Billy

      I will be doing the Will you still love me when I am 64 dance in less then 3 years. I loved your blog. Life is good and the live I have lived and plan on continuing is nothing short of enricing in mind , body and soul.

      :)

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Happy Birthday, Bill! What a lovely article. I have always loved that Beatle's song. I have a few more years before I reach 64, but I can relate to all you have learned. I have learned those lessons also. It is great to be middle-aged, as you say, because we can enjoy the maturity that we now have. We have learned what is truly important in life. In many ways you are a kindred spirit to me, Bill. It is nice to know someone else has found peace and tranquility in middle-age. LOL Keep on keeping on, Bill. I wish you may more wonderful birthdays! Thanks for an enjoyable and insightful article.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Happy Birthday Mr. bill!! But you must be mistaken...better check that birth certificate again.......SIXTY FOUR??!! Have you lost your mind?? Nobody lives to be THAT old!! C'mon, get real please.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      So happy to have met you here on HubPages and wanted to stop by and not only read your hub but to wish you a Very Happy Birthday and many more to come!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, thank you, and I sure hope you are right, that I have many more experiences. I'm loving life right now, and I feel like it has just begun.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Sunnie, I love that song. Thank you so much for that! How did you know that I love Rascal Flatts? Great choice, great comment, and thank you so very much for your friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Suzie! There are times I don't think I've grown up at all. LOL At least I don't make the same mistakes, which is comforting. :) I love hearing from you on my birthday; you mean a great deal to me, so thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rolly, what a great toast.....write young, think young, and stay young. Love it! Here's to many more years as friends!

      love and peace always,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kelly! I am so glad I finally figured it out and hit the brakes. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, you are such a special person! Thank you my friend, and I, too, look forward to many more years as your friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Renee, life is good indeed, and it just keeps getting better. Thank you for joining me on my birthday! Greatly appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, yes, kindred spirits indeed! It's funny, but some people we instantly connect with, and so it was with you. It takes very few hubs before you get an insight into a person, and I gravitated to you quickly. Thank you for your friendship; you are appreciated by me. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Paula, I am adopted, so all bets are off on that birth certificate. Who the hell knows? As I suspect, the state screwed up my records and I'm really thirty. LOL Fat chance!

      Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Susan! I love HP, love the people I have met, and look forward to many more sharings in the coming months. You have been by my side for many months and I appreciate you greatly.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Just for your birthday

      There are good ships, and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea.

      But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be

      and because you have IRISH BLOOD!! -

      Being Irish isn't something you do, it's something you are. Being Irish means that your heart swells like a sheet on a clothesline at the sound of your ancestral brogue, that the thought of your dad and sainted mother makes you weep a wee bit even now, that the devil himself, try as he does, will never dim your devotion to the Trinity. If you're truly Irish, you're possessed of a joy of the spirits and a depth of soul. You carry a smile for a stranger and coins aplenty for the poor. Aye, there's a feistiness about you as well, but only in protecting all that you hold dear; family, friends, faith and land, your heritage. For if you can see a masterpiece in a sunset and a promise of harvest in a clump of dirt, if you claim friends who'll buoy you up as well as cheer you when you sail, if you can feel the loving grip of God whatever your lot in life, then saints be praised. YOU'RE IRISH

      Have a good one Buddy!!!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Happy Birthday, Bill! I wish you many more years of happiness and writing. You had led a charmed life, I'd say. It's a miracle you are still living, friend.

      I voted this UP, and will share.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Happy Birthday to you!! Eat, drink and be merry!!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Another opportunity to wish happy birthday to you. We will celebrate again next year three days apart. I know you are having a wonderful day as you are blessed with enjoying everyday of your life...

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Happy, Happy Birthday Bill!!! I am finally home from my crazy Saturday morning, cam right here to read your wonderful article. Loved, loved the beginning with The Beatles song, totally great song and very much love them as a group and you totally nailed it here!! Beautiful article and beautiful sentiments. Hope you have a wonderful day and you are so deserving of it my friend!!! Have voted and shared everywhere :) :)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Bill, I don't know how I will feel when I'm 64, but looking at my father I feel old age gives some kind of contentment. I have always liked your positive take on life.

      Happy Birthday!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      What a great affirmation of life. I join with others in wishing you many more. My latest milestone was in September, reachinf an age I always (and most still do) as realllllly ancient, 72. But, I am lucky to feel little different thn I did at 4o, am taking a yoga class and walking a lot, writing more than I ever have, and like you have reconciled to a certain lack of control over life, my own and others for sure.

      I am still a Beatles fan, have it all on my IPOD and saw the Beach Boys this summer here in Eugene.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Suzie, I happen to be Irish, with a touch of the English, and I understand that toast very well. Each time I see you pop up, I start singing "Suzie Q" by Credence! I love your outlook on life, and I cherish your friendship. Thank you my friend, and may the road rise up to meet you today, and all days.

      hugs,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, there is no doubt, I believe in miracles! I am living proof that they exist. Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! I will eat, and I will be merry; I think I'll leave the drinking to someone else today. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Carol! It is a great day of celebration and I am very grateful!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, whether you know it or not, you are special to me. There is something about you that makes people smile when they hear from you, and that is a gift. Thank you for always giving me that gift, each and every day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vinaya, there is great contentment in reaching this age. Life is so good, my friend. I appreciate you sharing my birthday with me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Xstatic, thank you, and a belated Happy Birthday to you. May the Beatles always live on, and may you and I have many more years of enjoying their music and loving life.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Congrats on your birthday, Bill. Believe me, I know the feeling,and have turned the corner on 66.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Happy Birthday, you young whippersnapper, you! Seen from my vantage point, 64 seems prime! I hope you enjoy many, many more wonderful years, Bill.

      This is a glorious hub about embracing the many joys of life even as we grow older. Thanks for sharing (and I'm glad you didn't burn out at a young age).

      Voted Up++++

      Jaye

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Whonunuwho; it's a glorious day and a glorious life.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, that you! I beat the odds for sure; now I'm content and happy, and life just doesn't get any better than that.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Happy birthday Billy and what a wonderful hub. I am sure that many of us on here have benefited from having you as a fellow hubber and great friend.

      Penblwydd hapus i ti Billy.

      Have a wonderful day my dear friend.

      Eddy.

    • poojasd7 profile image

      poojasd7 4 years ago from India

      I agree to everything you say here. I need to inculcate a few things out of the ones you mentioned. I concur the most to the part where you said that, one forgets about one's problems when one helps other human being. It's an intangible balm.

      All in all, what a tribute to the life on the occasion of your 64th Birthday! Happy Birthday once again, my dear friend!

      :-)

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Happy birthday, Bill! Enjoy this new chapter in your life. We love you, too! *birthday hugs* -Liz

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, my blessings just continue, and what a joy life is! Thank you my dear friend! Blessings to you always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pooja, thank you so much! You are so wise for such a young human being. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, thank you so very much! I appreciate you greatly, and wish you a wonderful weekend.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Bill - Have yourself a great birthday. I can hardly remember when I was only 64, so you still have a long way to go. Take care of yourself, we would miss you if you weren't here.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

      Congrats on getting to 64...it sounds like you have learned a great deal from your previous mistakes and adventures....I was born in 1967....when the Beatles song first came out....so I am sure I will be thinking about the song in....calculating.....wow....the year 2030.

      I enjoyed reading your thoughts and history....very interesting...voted up and awesome.

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      A wise hub from you on this special day of your life - your birthday! Once again happy birthday! I completely agree with your views. Compassion & empathy are indeed your gifted traits and that are what drew many of us to you! Looking forward to more wisdom from you in the form of your hubs! Cheers!

      Thanks for SHARING. Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & shared

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, thank you so much! I will indeed take care of myself and I'm looking forward to sharing many more hubs in the future.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bruce, and I hope you enjoy 2030 as much as I do 2012.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ishwaryaa, you are a kind and compassionate woman and I greatly appreciate you. Thank you for the kind words my friend, and for sharing my birthday with me.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Another great hub - Happy Birthday, may you have many, many more of wonderful days ahead, filled with happiness, sunshine and good health. A very happy birthday and may all your dreams come true!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, thank you so much! I am truly blessed and I love HP and I love life!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Beautifully done, Billy, and may we all reflect upon pour own lives and be thankful for what we have.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, yes indeed! Thank you and I'll see you at Boomer Lake tomorrow!

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      My gosh, if all the comments were candles, the entire NW would be ablaze! Happy Birthday, again, to you my friend! Take the day off and enjoy it!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, I can see the sky glowing from here. LOL Thank you Sir; Bev is insisting that I pull the plug on the computer by noon, and that I shall do.

      Have a great weekend and thank you for being such a loyal follower and friend.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Happy Birthday, Billy! Back in the 1960s, none of us thought that that we would ever be 64 much less love our lives at that age. Your wonderful hub reminds us that life is even more worth living as we season and improve with age! Have a wonderful future! :)

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi Bill,

      Happy Birthday! Am slightly above half of your age and i wonder what life would be being in 60's. I have however got a sneak view from this article and i feel being more brave. I wish you success in the years to come. Voted up and useful.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Happy Birthday! I thought that title rang a little bell. Glad you made it through your risk taking and may God see you through for another fifty! You know I always wanted to die in my sleep, what could be better and then one night while I am taking my aspirin to live through the night I thought well now gee, I better make up my mind huh? lol Maybe I will stop when I am 64! J/K

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Congrats, and a happy Birthday to you Billy, I was about to wish you everything you would wish for yourself, but I think you already have it, So long may it last.

      To your very good health. X

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Happy Birthday Bill!! I'm going to have to read this again because there is so much wisdom in one place. I hope you spend today doing only things you enjoy because it is your day to do something for yourself since you help so many others. Wishing you continued health and happiness and I will expect a hub filled with wisdom on every birthday. Cheers!!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Happy Birthday, Bill. I'm not there yet, but I'm old enough to be grateful for the "wolf whistle" at the grocery store today! I am eternally grateful for friends, like you, who noticed and missed me lately, in your words "who care whether I live or die." The comments I got on my latest piece hit me like an epiphany of sorts; all the angst I'd been feeling and railing against over the events of the last 2 years didn't change a thing. But, participating at the hub, doing what I love, meeting fellow writers who are now friends that care, has made a tremedous difference in my outlook. Thank you for being a friend to me, Bill, for helping me see that there is hope, love and purpose for me in this world. In fact, I'm going to re-read all of my friends messages to me again, because they are a lifeline. So, Happy B'day, Bill, and thank you for sharing your thoughts on your special day. Enjoy!

    • profile image

      mjkearn 4 years ago

      Hi Bill

      and many happy returns on your special day or simply Happy Birthday Old Man.

      So just one year to go for retirement then or do good old dogs never retire.

      One more thing if you can stand it. If 64 is middle life then you're planning your big climb upstairs at 128. That being the case I'll say cheerio now as I'm not planning to be around then.

      Have a damn good day Mr. Billybuc.

      MJ.

    • Jordanwalker39 profile image

      Jordanwalker39 4 years ago from GA

      Happy Birthday Bill! Great hub and a great read. Voted up and shared.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Happy Birthday Billy. Best wishes! You are living life to the fullest and are blessed to have such good health. My dad is 64 too.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      Happy birthday, and I hope that you have many many more rewarding happy years ahead of you!

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      It's truly amazing how time passes so quickly; some of our bad mistakes we can look back on and truly learn some of life's greatest lessons. Great story and great info, Bill.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Happy Birthday Mr. Bill!! : )

      Awesome piece of writing. After sharing all those great thoughts and lessons learned ... nothing much to say except: thank You! Priceless.

      I wish You all the very best and leave You with a song, "With a little help from my friends": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKmDYrKDjq8

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Well sir, happy 64th to you and I hope it has been all that you deserve and more. You made some wonderful observations about your life's lessons and they certainly weren't wasted on you. In so few years you have stared down every emotion known to man and you didn't let any of them beat you. You are proof that no one is a victim unless they choose to be. Congratulations on your milestone Bill. I won't even waste space telling you to embrace it because you've a grip on life that most of us only dream about. I celebrate you today my friend. Happy Birthday!

    • Specialk3749 profile image

      Karen Metz 4 years ago from Michigan

      Happy Birthday!! I'm glad you did not give up and you are here to entertain us with your words! I love that song. My husband and I sing it to one another all the time. We are only in our 40's but finding that time is going by so fast and our 60's are not that far away. I hope we are in as good of shape as you are and we will be able to sing this to one another on our 64th birthdays as well. Enjoyed your hub!

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Wow!!! This was so good to my heart...your 64th birthday gave life to me. Happy Birthday and may God keep blessing you! You have a lot to give! Thanks for sharing your reflections.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Stephanie, thank you so much! It's been a miracle ride on a magic carpet and it isn't over yet.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dwachira, life is nothing like I envisioned at your age, that's for sure! It's all about attitude and gratitude my friend, and I'm so happy I found that out before it was too late.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, that had me laughing! Hard to decide, eh? Well I for one hope you are around a great many years to entertain me on HP! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jo! Of course there are no guarantees, but I'm feeling pretty feisty right now. :) I appreciate your warm wishes and the same to you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Healthy, it's a deal! In the meantime, I have had a wonderful day with Bev, and life has never looked so good. I greatly appreciate your kindness, and I'm looking forward to many shared hubs over the years.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, you are a doll my friend, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. I gravitated to you early on and I've never been disappointed. There is a great deal of character in you, and strength, and that's a pretty damn good foundation to go forward with.

      Blessings to you my friend, and here is a hug to get you through the weekend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MJ, all bets are off on that 128, but I'm going to ride this horse for all it's worth until my time is up. No sense getting cheated on the time that is left.

      Thank you Ireland and you are right, old dogs never retire. :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jordan, thank you very much! I appreciate the warm wishes.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lovedoctor, it is incredible how this body has held up despite my carelessness. I think I'll take it a little easier from here on. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mperrottet, thank you so much! I love HP and it's because of people like you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Keith, I have no regrets. Everything that has happened brought me to this place, this time, and life is wonderful. Thank you my young, wise friend.

    • justgrace1776 profile image

      justgrace1776 4 years ago

      I love this piece! Absolutely love. Thank you for sharing inspiration. Happy Birthday :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mr. Happy, you chose the perfect song. I'd hate to think about what life would be like without my support system. It's been one hell of a ride and it keeps getting better. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda my dear, thank you! I am so enjoying our friendship. Yes, it is virtual, but it feels damn real to me. :) Thank you for being who you are, and here's a toast to many years of sharing together.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Specialk, I wish that for you as well. Life is fantastic, and I am having the time of my life. Thank you for your kind words. I greatly appreciate that kindness.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lastheart, my thanks to you as well. I love HP and it's because of the relationships I have formed with my virtual family. Best wishes to you and thank you for your friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Justgrace, thank you so much! Wonderful words for a writer to read. Have a wonderful weekend and best wishes to you and yours.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you for writing this hub. It just reminds me of my past, my childhood, the Beatles. Now I have the song " When I'm Sixty Four" stuck in my head...lol!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, thank you! It's one of those songs that might bounce around inside your head for days. Sorry about that. :)

    • stillwaters707 profile image

      stillwaters707 4 years ago from Texas

      Happy Birthday, Bill. Little do we know about our futures when we are young.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Stillwaters, truer words were never written. I never saw this day coming. :) Thank you!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Happy Happy Birthday Bill! I hope you are having a great day and I can't wait to read your 80th bday hub ;) I'll be here before ya know it. ^_^

      Now really, you are great and I've learned so much through your writing. I'm excited to see what the 64 year old you brings to your wonderful collection of hubs.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sasha, thank you my friend. Nobody is more surprised by this birthday than I am. :) I look forward to the next year and love every minute of my life.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Happy Birthday and may this be a fabulous year for you, Bill.

      What an awesome song to tie your thoughts together. While I fully appreciate and agree with all of your lessons learned, I most identify with-- giving up control and having a more joyful life.

      This is inspirational...I love reading your work. UP & UABI.

      Hugs, Maria

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much Maria! For me, giving up control was the key; once I did that, the rest came fairly easily.

      Thank you for the hugs and kind words!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Guess what song has been bouncing around in my head all day since I read this hub? LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, I know....it's one of those songs that won't go away once you think of it. LOL Sorry about that!

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 4 years ago from New York City

      Happy Birthday Bill, I shall return here for sure to read up this awesome hub of yours, I had no clue you wrote it, but I'm so glad I found it before the end of today.

      I wish you many more awesome years to come bro, send my regards to Bev, and thanks for being such a cool supportive dude to us all.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I really enjoyed this sixty fourth birthday write and I can relate to your comment that life is not over when we age. In fact, It gets better when we realize the little things are just that, little things that used to loom so big when we were young. I remember the song so well and loved it, now they are in their sixties, ( Those who are left. ) I hope they feel the same, life is good..Cheers

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      What a wonderful hub! I always loved that song too, but rather than being afraid of aging, I lived my teens and twenties longing for older age, when I thought (hoped) to actually be respected. When I was ten I used to tell people I couldn't wait until I was old enough to have dentures!

      Still haven't earned the respect part, but I have learned to enjoy today instead of waiting for all that wisdom and experience to come at a later age. And like you, I hope that to always love life.

      Happy Birthday!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 4 years ago from California Gold Country

      My sixties were a darn good decade for me. Check back in another ten and I'll give you a review of my 70's.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, it's been a great ride on HP and it ain't over yet. I will give your regards to Bev and thank you for being the supportive friend that you have been.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, you summed it up perfectly. Life is good my friend, better than I ever imagined. Thank you so much for being a wonderful supporter and friend. I greatly appreciate you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Sharkye, you have earned my respect, so that's a start, right? :) Thank you my friend; I'm a little emotional today, so I don't want to sound giddy, but today is the best day of my life, and I'm willing to bet tomorrow will be better.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rochelle, I'm marking it down on my ten year calendar. I'll get back to you then. LOL Thank you!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Happy birthday! But unfortunately we require a birth certificate. You seem so much younger.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....good one Martin! Thank you Sir!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Hi Bill. Well life starts at sixty-four, just check some folks driving their dream car after retiring, feeling young and not even worried about what will people say. Your life is an example and we think Bev did the needed tune up to straighten up our best friend. Happy b-day, and hope to have Billybuc for a long time. A libra like you, were born to keep that balance in life, and you have confirmed yourself. Have a great sunday my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, you are so right when you say that Bev provided a much-needed tune up. :) As for Libras.....we are the balancers of life, and you, my friend, exemplify that with your words and character. Long live all Libras, and seriously, Joseph, thank you for being who you are.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Happy Birthday, Billybuc! I'm enjoying my birthday today too. I'll eat some cake for both of us, LOL

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      First....Happy, happy birthday, dear Bill! What a beautiful hub. I loved every word! Up, awesome and sharing! I hope you had an amazing birthday!

    • Magdelene profile image

      Magdelene 4 years ago from Okotoks

      Billybuc you are a truly rare marvel, Bless you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Birthday Austin! Wonderful people born in October; the salt of the earth. LOL Thanks for eating some cake for me. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Btrbell, I did have a fantastic birthday, and thank you my dear. Enjoy your Sunday with all of those cats.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Magdelene, what a sweet thing to say. Thank you so much, and blessings to you as well my friend.

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Happy birthday to you. You state so well how age brings wisdom and happiness if we let it. Wonderful Hub - glad to have read it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, thanks for the birthday wishes, and thank you for the kind words about the hub! Thank goodness I finally found some clarity in life. :)

    • profile image

      Tina Truelove 4 years ago

      Happy Birthday and what a beautiful hub! I turned 43 a few days ago and for the first time ever, became depressed about my birthday. Then I realized God had blessed me with many wonderful years. I feel much better about it now! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • profile image

      PWalker281 4 years ago

      Happy birthday, Bill! Isn't it interesting how our perspective on aging changes once we reach what we once considered was old age? I coasted through 40 and 50 with ease, but when the big six-oh began approaching, I started getting anxious about being old. Two years after turning 60, I'm realizing 60 is the new 40 and I would definitely consider it middle age (which means I should live to 120, right?)

      The big lesson I've learned is to let go of trying to control everything and surrender to what is. It doesn't mean I don't take action to make changes in my life; it simply means I don't do it kicking, screaming, and complaining about my present circumstances. I'm practicing viewing everything that occurs, no matter what, in a positive light. Instant stress relief!

      Great hub! Voted up and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tina, take it from me, there is a great life ahead of you as you age.....so many wonders to experience...so many joys yet to be lived.

      Thank you so much for the birthday wish!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you PWalker! I have run across quite a few people who get confused over the concept of giving up control and surrendering, as though that means being helpless and being tossed about in a raging sea. lol As you said, it means taking care of what is in front of us....it is all about action and also all about release of stress and worry over our actions. It is an incredible place to be.

      If you ever get the chance, read the "Humility" prayer that was on Dr. Bob's desk (the AA co-founder).....it speaks of humility but also about letting go and surrendering....."perpetual quietness of heart."

      Thank you my friend, and Aloha to you!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Happy Birthday Bill! If you wrote this on the 12th, you share your birthday with my oldest daughter. Your hub is a beautiful testament, wait let me wipe my tear away, to all that life should be. You have lived and learned, loved and grown in ways that we can all only hope to achieve. I am grateful that you openly share your thoughts and experiences. You are an inspiration to me and I look forward, as always to your next hubs, and wish you a very happy birthday, many more, and much continued happiness. Thank you for spreading your joy!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rhonda, my friend, it was a wonderful birthday and your wish ended a perfect birthday weekend. Thank you sincerely! It has been a wild ride but one worth taking to reach this point in my life. I am contented and loved; what could be better?

      your friend,

      bill

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I hope you had a very happy birthday, Bill. This is a lovely hub to celebrate the occasion. Best wishes for the future.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much Alicia! It was a fantastic birthday celebration.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, we will still love you, and we will still be here for you, and Bev can still feed you, as you are 64!!! NO WAY, but if so ----all behold what living a simple life results in --------HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR BILL!!!!

      We will still need you too!!! I hope it was the best birthday ever for you dear one, as you deserve the best this life has to offer.

      In His Love Always, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith....LOL...that was great! Thank you dear lady! It has been a wonderful birthday weekend and it is a wonderful life.....and it just keeps getting better.

      Have a fantastic week ahead of you and as always, you are appreciated.

      peace and happiness, today and always,

      bill

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

      Thank you very much for sharing your life experience. From this motivating hub, I learn how to value life and be positive thinking. I never know if I could reach that age and be as fit as you but at least I've learned how to positively deal with it if it came to me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      auusfanani, I wish you a long and happy life my friend! Thank you for your kind words and blessings to you and your loved ones.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Happy Birthday Billy! When I read the title I heard that Beatles song in my head. We are of the same era, and almost all of my loved ones have passed on as well. But I'm still here, still moving and doing. I can totally relate to how you are viewing life at this stage. It is so hard to let go of the control reins, but once that happens all kinds of cool stuff begins!

      Loved all the great lessons you have learned. Voted Up across the board. Excellent!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Pearl and thank you! Life is fantastic my friend, much better than I would have ever dreamed back in the 60's. Just goes to show how little I know. :) Thank you!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Happy Birthday Bill, and it has been a pleasure reading your hubs. I wish strength to your pen and good health to you in the years to follow.

      Up/beautiful and have a fine day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, thank you very much. I like that....strength to your pen.....I wish that for you as well my friend.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy - my dear friend! I send you the best of Birthday wishes and hope they all come true.

      I am now a bit concerned. I do hope Bev provides safety when helping you cross the street. You should also fill your diet with soft foods as they are easier to digest, chew and swallow.

      Many local thrift shops sell walking and hearing aids at a wonderfully discounted price. I also know a guy who can get you a deal on a port-a-potty.

      I found this interesting hub very relateable, melancholy, sad and equally as uplifting, brave and joyous.

      Love, hugs and kisses to you and hope you enjoyed your day my end of the rainbow friend.

      XXOO

      voting up and I HAVE TO SHARE!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, I just want to know something....how can you call me a dear friend...finish the comment with love, hugs, and kisses, and then rip me a new one in the body of the comment???? LMAO So very funny! Love the port-a-potty line!

      Thank you dear one! I hope you are well and happy.

      always,

      bill

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Because I care..........! LOL

      Seriously - like you, I remember listening to the song and laughing because 64 seemed soooo old and I knew in my young fresh mind I would NEVER be older.

      The laugh is on us!

      XOXO

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, the laugh is indeed on us! Thank you dear!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, as you know I left you a voicemail on your birthday because you need to know you are loved and celebrated.

      Today my neighbor, who is quite older than I, and I were talking about the way things were in ' our' day. This conversation took place with my 20 year old son present. At the end of the conversation my neighbor stated if he had to do it all over again, he wouldn't change a thing. I agreed (you know much of my past) and qualified the statement with "our past defines our road and has made us who we are today." I would not give up my life and the way I've led it thus far for anything. I had a great time and am proud of the lessons I learned along the way. I like me. 55 and going strong!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's funny, Sha, because Bev and I had the same conversation last night, and we both arrived at the same conclusion. Why would I change anything? Look where I am now, a place of peace and contentment; to change something from the past would run the risk of changing my present, and that is unacceptable to me.

      Thank you my dear! I do feel loved, and those who are close to me (you included) know I love them. Life is grand, is it not?

      lol

      bill

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

      I remember 64, Bill...that's when I was a youngster LOL!!! Pushing 70 now and also am glad nobody has shot me...yet! Loved this one.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Time, I love your sense of humor! Here's to us both, two survivors who are loving life!

      Thank you!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      The time in your life when you should be free and face up to challenges, good luck in your best time of life

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, this is, indeed, the best time of my life. I greatly appreciate you visiting three times this morning; thank you!

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 4 years ago from The Shire

      Happy Belated Birthday, Bill! May you enjoy them all. Thank you for sharing what you've learned...continued good fortune today and every day!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Molly! I am extremely blessed and I thank the heavens each day for my life.

    Click to Rate This Article