So, I’m about to turn 60 years old. And, it’s kind of blowing my mind. My sister recently came across some old family vacation pictures and posted them. My reaction was simply to marvel at all the time that has passed since those days of childhood and young adulthood. So many memories.
I was 21 years old when my best friend, 20 at the time, stood with me in front of family and friends and married me. Just three years later we started our own family. Now, we are the proud grandparents of twins, born 15 months ago. Our daughter, the youngest of our two children, will soon turn 29. The oldest will be 36 this summer.
Over the years, I have gone from athletic to pathetic. I used to play basketball several days a week. I was a member of a couple of softball teams, and I enjoyed the occasional snow skiing adventure. Fortunately, my desire to participate in many athletic endeavors has decreased with my ability to perform them at a level I expect of myself.
Until recently, I would often tell people I can still bowl and run and play a little tennis. On the positive side, I am having a good year at the alley with an average as high as it has ever been. But, my running has lately suffered a couple of setbacks. My lower back caused me some grief for a few weeks. Then, a couple of weeks ago I pulled a hamstring muscle that brought my jogging to an abrupt halt. I am slowly working my way back from that injury. The crazy part is that I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I injured myself. That’s the way it is these days. Stuff just hurts for no apparent reason.
My athletic ability is not the only change I am facing as I enter my seventh decade on the planet. While it is somewhat comforting that, as I grow older, the people around me are with me every step of the way, it is also disturbing. I have no remaining grandparents, and my parents are facing more and more health challenges. Aging comes with a price for everyone.
But, on a lighter note, here are some of the less serious effects of the aging process I’ve noticed.
I am losing hair where I would like it to remain and gaining them where I don’t.
The older I get, the harder it is for young people to determine my age. I had a teenager tell me the other day I didn’t look bad for someone in his forties.
Restaurants occasionally give me surprise senior discounts. I no longer get “carded” at Wendy’s, for example. KFC is a different story, however, because everyone who eats there is old.
I’ve been known to tell my students I regularly read the obituaries. If I see my name there, I am not going to come to work.
I believe I’m more patient than I used to be. I can sit for hours in front of the TV, but that might be because I am a) napping, or b) unable to get out of the couch.
Though my road racing has slowed some, I am proud of the fact that I have completed three marathons, at least 10 half marathons and a much larger number of courses of various lengths from 5K to 10 miles. It’s been a great run, pun intended.
The aforementioned twin grandchildren have given me a renewed opportunity to play with toys and crawl around on the floor. And, I consider it a blessing every time I can still get up afterward.