When Did This Happen?

I turned 65 earlier this week.

Sixty-five.

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.

Medicare.

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.

 

 

 

68 thoughts on “When Did This Happen?

  1. quiall

    First of all congratulations George! You have now reached an age where you don’t have to ask for permission. I decided when I hit 50 that I was now an adult. I’m enjoying my 50’s and I’m looking forward to my 60’s cuz it’s all about attitude. And Honey I got attitude!

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  2. DailyMusings

    Oh how I can relate to every word you wrote!! When I turned 50 I said the same- “this is how old my parents are, not me!” The Medicare card sent my husband into a whole head trip 5 years ago- that was a hard one, but he received his first Social Security check this week (waited the maximum time to collect) and that brought a big smile 🙂

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  3. Steven Baird

    Congratulations… Young at heart is where it’s at. And nothing beats solid experience and wisdom. Okay, cliches aside, you’ve got a great attitude, and all the best to you!

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  4. blondieaka

    Happy Birthday George and thank you for making me laugh…I too will reach that age in September but in my world I have added together for years. So that will make me 11 and my grandson( who is 10 is 1..the kids think it’s fun …my kids think I’m crazy and according to one grandson it will be 200 plus years before I am 21 again..But I have told him I will always be on his shoulder and tweak his ear whenever he is naughty….You wanted a story and not a comment…Hope you had a wonderful birthday 😉

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  5. kgjewels5

    Age IS just a number. I won’t say you’re as old as you feel, because sometimes my body feels older than my chronological age. However, I will say feel age with your heart. I fell in love with my husband at a very young age. When I see him and spend my life with him, I’m still 18 years old and no one can tell me any thing different.

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    1. George Post author

      You’re right, age is just a number. As Abe once said, it’s not about the years in your life but the life in your years. Your husband is a very lucky man..:)

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  6. Jodi

    Happy Birthday George!!!! I sure hear you. I sometimes can’t believe what I see when I look in the mirror. Who is that old lady? I still feel like a teenager in my heart. 40s were the best decade for me. 50 – what the heck!??! LOL! But I’m going to be a grandma (in case you forgot – LOL!) so I’m all in. Let’s try really hard to engage in every day we are given and see it as the gift it is. Keep in mind I am trying to convince my 53 year old self of this while I “preach” it to you “young man!” 🙂

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    1. George Post author

      I agree about the 40’s, that was a great decade. I remember that you’re goi g to be a grandmother soon. I’m looking forward to it for you..:) I treat everyday as a gift. As I get older I appreciate those moments even more. It’s all about the life in our years, right?..:) Thanks, Jodi.

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  7. davidprosser

    A belated Penblwydd Hapus George and welcome to my World. I haven’t been able to convince my brain that my body is not the same age. Like you, the brain still sees life through younger eyes and has a false expectation of what it can do while the body lives in Realityville.
    In fairness though, while I accept the limitations of age on my bones I’m not sure I ever want the brain to grow up.
    65 did have it’s perks by way of a free bus pass or a third off rail travel not too mention the pleasure of retirement.
    All the best George.

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    1. George Post author

      Thank you, David. I’ve never been wished a Penblwydd Hapus before so that’s special for me….:) Yes, reality like is an interesting place but as you mention there are some benefits that come our way. I hope you’re doing well. Take care yourself.

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  8. Jennifer Kelland Perry

    Happy Birthday, George! Try not to look too negatively on your milestone, because what is the alternative to it? You should celebrate for having reached it. Easy for me to say right? 😉
    I remember my 40th was the hardest for me. My 50th didn’t bother me at all, go figure.

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    1. George Post author

      Thank you, Jennifer. Oh, I wasn’t trying to be negative. It’s just a surreal feeling to be this age. I don’t know how it all happened…:). I will gladly keep celebrating since the alternative is not an option I choose to explore..:)

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  9. jan

    I have a hard time with my number too (66) – ugh. Doesn’t seem possible. This year I decided to go natural and not try to disguise the inevitable! To quote Maurice Chevalier – “I’m so glad I’m not young anymore!”

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  10. Beth

    Happy Birthday, George!! When I dream, I’m always much younger and it’s sometimes a surprise to wake up and realize I’m in my 60’s. At least I’m young for a few hours every night:0)).

    I loved the observation that 7 and 8 year old boys don’t have a “pause” switch. They really don’t!

    Hope your birthday is filled with family, love, fun!

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    1. George Post author

      Thank you, Beth. Come to think of it I think I’m much younger in my dreams also. Never thought about it until now. I guess that’s why I usually enjoy my dreams so much..:)

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  11. Ann Coleman

    Happy Birthday, George! I wish I had some words of comfort about the aging thing, but I’m in the same boat (except for the medicare card; that one is still in my future). It is so odd how our minds and bodies begin to lose their connection as we age. Mentally, we’re young. Physically, not so much. And I do try to adjust my mental image of myself into something more in line with my actual age, but it just doesn’t work that well. Oh well, I’m going with song lyrics too!

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  12. Fourth Generation Farmgirl

    A very Happy Birthday, George!! I believe that the older we are the more we’re able to appreciate and enjoy the important stuff in life. And, that’s a gift. I think you have a fabulous sense of humor and a great attitude. Here’s to many more happy birthdays! 😊🌻🍾🎂

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  13. vanbytheriver

    Happy Belated, George. So nice to see your photo ! I think I’d rather appreciate that youth of spirit, than youth of body…it lasts much longer. ☺ From a 64 1/2 year old. ❤️

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  14. Ann Coleman

    I’m so sorry I missed some of your comments, George! They ended up in my spam, I think maybe because you changed your gravitar? Of who know, maybe because word press just likes to make things difficult. But happy birthday!!

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  15. TheMoonLitHowl

    As stated, age is just a number, and I most often feel way younger than my years. Not where you are, George, but in an age bracket that also says, “That’s my parents’ age…” But,………I also have enjoyed being older because I honestly feel, at heart, I think and behave younger than I did when I was young! During our youth we worry about so many things that we later find are inconsequential. I’m loving putting those worries behind, and recognizing life is just a lot of fun if you allow it to be. 🙂 HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

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  16. Roos Ruse

    What a delightful post, Sir. Happy Birthday and many happy returns! I know what you mean about the body growling the next day. My grands get a hoot out of those slow mornings after. Growing up with 7 brothers, then raising 7 boys, we have score cards for belches (out doors, of course); 3 points for volume, 3 points for projection, 3 points for no content (or deduct points) and an extra point for innocent slips in public (but everyone must agree is was a slip or Roo will Gibbs-smack the offender). Best regards, Sir!

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  17. chattykerry

    Hi George. I loved this post and at age 56, I am a tad envious of the Medicare card. My husband was laid off for six months and the health care was so expensive. I still feel 19 in my head. Went to a Pitbull concert last week, sang in Spanish, danced all night and then couldn’t move for days. LOL!

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  18. lisakunk

    Oh my, those mirrors are such a shocker for me. I don’t know that woman at all. But, there’s anonymity in being older. Nobody is expecting much from this middle aged woman so anything I do is a delightful surprise. I exaggerate a bit but that mirror is shocking. Gotta keep going as well as possible for as long as possible. Being sedentary is the new chain-smoking. Let’s move it.

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  19. sportsattitudes

    Well whomever THEY are say age is just a number. THEY apparently haven’t had to carry around a Medicare Card. I’ll “only” be 59 in May but I can certainly identify with the weirdness of turning 50 and wondering who the guy is in the mirror. I am finding time moving faster than it used to…maybe because I know the sands of time are shifting in the other direction now? I think the only real frustration I have of being older is how I am treated, or at least feel I’m being treated, by people younger than I. I know I’m not moving slowly, talking slowly etc. but it’s like the grey hair has exposed me nonetheless to some being overly concerned about my well-being than need be. It comes down to looking older than I feel…and it probably wouldn’t help my cause to yell out “hey, I’m young in here!!!” So I remain calm and simply try to assure others I’m not THAT old. Yet.

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    1. George Post author

      lol…like you, Bruce, I have a problem with how people treat or perceived me because they see the color of my hair. It’s funny about time. Minutes seem to go by slowly but days just fly by. I don’t imagine that’ll change anytime soon.
      But you’re right…its just a number. Until it’s not, of course..;)

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