The Big Six Oh
My Sixtieth Birthday
October 7, 2011
My birthday is this week. It's a milestone of sorts. I'll be sixty years old.
I'm not sure how I managed to live this long. Not that I've ever courted death. Not in my, or your, wildest dreams. It's just that in my teens I was certain I'd be long gone by thirty-five.
It's not that I lived that fast back then. Maybe its just that I could not imagine myself that old when I wasn't even twenty yet. That must be it.
At thirty-five I was pretty sure that I wouldn't live past fifty. Again, not due to any death wish on my part. More due to the fact that I could not imagine myself at fifty.
Fifty came and went and it was no big deal. I was fortunate on that birthday. No one gave me black balloons. There were no jokes about retirement homes. Perhaps it was because 9/11 was such a recent event and that President Bush had ordered troops into Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. There were more important events going on than the day of my birth. My birthday was minor by comparison.
At sixty it's still not a big deal.
Aches and Pains
I'm doing good for sixty (or almost sixty). I actually have fewer aches and pains than I did at fifty. I can't explain it, but I'll certainly enjoy it. I try to stay active. It seems to help.
I did catch the flu. This is not that unusual. My birthday usually is marked by some annoyance like this. I've come to expect it. Coming down with something is much better than what has happened on past birthdays. Car accidents involving close friends. Having a very close friend die just prior to my birthday or having a good friend move away at about the same time. These things have marked past observances. Having the flu is minor compared to these events.
Of course I feel foolish having caught it. I didn't get my flu shot this year, but was expecting to be able to beat the onset of this year's flu season by getting the shot before November. Oh well!
In a way I'm a bit shy about birthdays anyway. I'm not famous, well known, or even notorious. It's just me you know? Don't get me wrong. I am glad I'm alive. I'm almost certain friends and family are glad I'm alive too, but I'm no one all that special should my birthday be any big deal?
The answer, of course, is it shouldn't.
There's a dinner planned this weekend. It will be at one of my favorite places. Probably that trendy Chinese fusion place my wife likes so much. If not that then the AmeriMexican cafe near the beach. This is the great thing about being mated to someone who likes the same things you do; we'll eat someplace we both like.
Generally, I'm not that particular about what I eat. I'm not a big fan of fish or chicken, but that's not a big deal at a restaurant.
I'll talk to my mom, my kids, and in-laws. That's a good thing. I owe all of them a decent conversation.
Most people my age are probably looking forward to retirement. I'm not.
I like to stay active you see. Retirement sounds too much like "inactive" to be attractive to me. I still like to work with my hands, so I keep pursuing careers that involve manual labor with skill.
So another year has come and gone.
I have a wish. That we are all doing much better by the start of next year.
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