The Future is Now
I got a letter in the mail today. I was expecting it but dreading it for many years. I knew my past would catch up with me. I pretended it would not come. My wife knew about it. I couldn’t keep it from her. She had accepted it and when we got married, she insisted it was not a problem. My parents were no longer alive so its impact on them would not be felt. I was ambivalent about it. I didn’t know how it would change my life, so many years later. All I had built and accomplished was something I was proud of and I swore I would not let it diminish me or throw me into a deep depression.
I got my Medicare card today!
I’m still three months away from turning 65 but THEY send it to you early. Not sure if it’s for record keeping or they just like to play with your head.
So, let’s assess where I’m at. At 65, my Dad played tennis regularly, bowled, enjoyed his martinis, was in decent health. I was 35 at the time and he was my role model for what 65 was like. Not too shabby.
I ski every year. I play a weekly tennis game after an 11 year hiatus. I am about 11 lbs off my mark but I enjoy my martinis. Like my dad, I travel and am excited about the journeys that lie ahead. The past 12 months included a colonoscopy, hernia surgery, an endoscopy and a clean bill of health on my cancer treatments from 2014. Like my dad, not too shabby.
So 65 is just a number. Someone once asked feminist Gloria Steinem what it felt like to be 50. She said: “I don’t know. What’s 50 supposed to feel like?”
But it did get me thinking. How many good years are left. The tennis, the travelling, the dodging the bullet. I’d say 17-20. In Yiddish, we call that a Kenahora; a curse. Don’t tempt fate they say!
Well, not sure I believe in curses or divine intervention. We roll the dice when we’re born and it’s a virtual crapshoot that no one in their right mind would place a bet on.
It certainly is a mind game but it’s not a prognosis of what’s to come.
It’s just a number.
So now that I’ve hit this milestone, what do I have planned? Will I get my eyes done? No. My wife spent all the money on a facelift! Travel? Sure. NY, UK, Ireland, Scotland and Iceland this summer. Next year, Antarctica. Year after? Another trip.
I think if we set our own milestones for life, it keeps us from death, or at least thinking about it. If we have things to look forward to, we look forward to insuring we get there.
65. It’s just a number. I’ve never been good at math, but I’ve always been good at living.
Happy Birthday to me.