As noted in previous columns, I turned 60 years old last week. I usually enjoy when birthdays roll around, but this one made me think. And while I was, in reality, only one day older, I felt years older.
It's all is a matter of perspective. Does getting older just mean more aches and pains, or does it mean you can demonstrate the wisdom you've learned from hard lessons along the way?
After all, a good friend of mine, who reached 60 before I did, told me last week that when you turn 60, you realize that life is no longer as much about the destination as it is enjoying the journey to wherever you're going. Think about it. If you know he's right, you're probably 60 or older too!
I had plenty of people tell me I was getting old last week, starting with my youngest daughter, Kayla, who is 18 and graduating from high school next month. When she was born and I was 42. Someone said "Wow! You'll be 60 when she graduates from high school," though tt didn't sink in then as to what that really meant. It sank in last week!
Just in case I needed any reminders, here are some things that reminded me I was truly getting old last week.
•I got birthday greetings by email from people I see once in a while who knew it was my sixtieth birthday. I emailed back "How did you know that?" They emailed back "Because you told us in a recent column." I emailed back "Oops, I forgot I wrote about it."
•I was talking to someone about the great blizzard of 1978, and realized that well over half the people I encounter on most days have no idea what that was like. They weren't even born yet. If they think what we had in Indiana this past winter was a blizzard, just because the weather people said it was, they really don't have a clue.
•My judging team members were on the top row of a small set of portable bleachers at a judging contest last week. They were only three rows up. I tried to get on the second row in front of them from standing on the ground. I made it, but without any grace and only after expending a whole lot of energy. Man, that once was much easier to do.
•A co-worker proposes an idea, a great idea about a new column to write. I hesitate, but finally told him that I had run a very similar column and stopped writing it, probably while he was still in middle school.
•The column about weeds in the above point went out of date because glyphosate took over – that's why I let it lapse. It's a great idea again because glyphosate's control has lapsed, only due to development of resistant weeds. I've stayed around so long that old ideas seem new again.
Yes, I may be old from certain people's viewpoints. But it's far better than the alternative. I'm learning forward to 70 (and if you believe that, get out your checkbook and buy my ocean-front property here in central Indiana!)