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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)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      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.

    • 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
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      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!

    • 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
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      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!

    • 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
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      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

    • 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
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • 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
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      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

      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
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      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.

    • 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
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      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!

    • 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
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      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.

    • 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
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      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

    • 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
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

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      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
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      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

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      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
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      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!

    • billybuc profile image
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      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!

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      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.

    • 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.

    • billybuc profile image
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      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. :)

    • 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
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      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.

    • billybuc profile image
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      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
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      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. :)

    • Magdelene profile image

      Magdelene 4 years ago from Okotoks

      Billybuc you are a truly rare marvel, Bless you!

    • 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!

    • 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

    • billybuc profile image
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      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.

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      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
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

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      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
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      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!

    • billybuc profile image
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      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
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      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
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      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.

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      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.

    • 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!

    • 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

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      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.

    • billybuc profile image
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      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!

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      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
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      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!

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      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
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      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.

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      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.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

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      stillwaters707 4 years ago from Texas

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

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      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. :)

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      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!

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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!

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      justgrace1776 4 years ago

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

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      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.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

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      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!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

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      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

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      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

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      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.

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      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.

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      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!

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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!

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      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!

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      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

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      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.

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      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!

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      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.

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      Jordanwalker39 4 years ago from GA

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

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      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.

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      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!

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      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!!

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      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

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      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

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      [ 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.

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      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! :)

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      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.

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      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!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

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      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.

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      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!

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      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!!

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      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.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

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

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      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.

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      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