I turned 65 earlier this week.
Even when I write the number instead of entering digits the surreal feelings don’t change.
I remember when I turned 30, (just the other day), and I felt as if I wasn’t young anymore. My twenties were gone and thirty was the age of people I was told not to trust. At least that was the slogan in the mid sixties.
Turning forty never bothered me but fifty was very strange. I associated the age of fifty with my parents and aunts and uncles when I was younger. They were old. I wasn’t. This couldn’t be me.
Except it was.
Then the years just seem to add up. Sixty came and went and I accepted another decade, laughing at the absurdity of what I saw in the mirror. When did that happen? Where did that come from? Where did the hair get thinner? How does your body seem to change overnight? Really, overnight.
I always tried to stay active. I used to play basketball, baseball, softball, racquetball and tennis regularly along with an occasional bad game of golf. I still walk four miles most mornings, except when the cold weather kicks in. However, now when I play a game of basketball with my eighteen twenty-one year old nephews and sons-in-law, i find myself bent over more times than not searching for another breath of air as they make the usual jokes. Keeping up with my grandchildren is another challenge since seven and eight year old boys were born without a pause switch. Right now my two five-year old and thirteen month old granddaughters are more in my league, though I’m guessing the art of negotiating some down time with them will end relatively soon.
The problem is my mind is not in sync with my body most of the time. My mind sees things that I should be able to do, my body reacts to the challenge and then speaks to me the next day in an angry tone reserved for the I told you so crowd. That’s okay. I can deal with the voices in my head as long as I can still maintain some semblance of competition. It’s better than having a sideline seat.
That’ll happen one day. Just not today.
But here’s the really strange thing for me about turning 65. I now carry a medicare card in my wallet.
That slapped me in the face more than turning 30 or 50, because now you have an identifying piece of paper that tells everyone you’re over a certain age. I can’t even sing “When I’m Sixty-four” with McCartney anymore.
That’s just crazy and I’m having trouble getting my arms around that one.
My mother-in-law is 90 and she has a medicare card. How can we be in the same category? When did that happen?
I associate medicare with older people. I know what you’re about to say. Don’t even go there.
My mind is usually stuck at twelve. I still love to play juvenile practical jokes.
I will go to a party and cut out and eat the middle of a cake before dessert is served and wait for the overreaction from my daughter when the cover is removed.
I teach or tell my grandson’s things my daughters wish I didn’t. Hey, it was their decision to leave me alone with them. Some people just don’t understand that who could burp the loudest at a meal is actually an athletic event.
I love limericks. The riskier the better.
Drawing with chalk on the driveway is so cool and walking in the rain, splashing in puddles, diving in piles of leaves and sitting on your front lawn waving to people in a bathing suit during a two foot blizzard snowstorm is what makes life fun.
And I have a medicare card?
In the words of Toby Keith…
“I ain’t as good as I once was
but I’m as good once as I ever was.”
I guess I can deal with that.