Today is my birthday; I am 72. I’m not sure what that means, except its a golfing goal I’ll probably never achieve. I have already outlived my father by about six years and am only months younger than my mother when she died. I don’t know how or if these facts have any bearing on my age or my life expectancy; they do give me pause, however.
Maybe I should feel old. Certainly, I think of some people in their 70’s as old. So, why don’t I have a similar self-image? Perhaps because many of the people I associate with are similar in age? Maybe because I think I am “younger” than I am. When I think of how I lead my life and how I imagine they do, I am probably “older” than I am willing to admit. Certainly, Deloris’s physical condition and my resultant caregiving have made me less physically active and narrowed my focus so I engage only in activities that accommodate my commitment to Deloris.
I’m in pretty good health, I think. My lab tests are good; like most Americans (and me almost all my life) I could stand to lose weight; I have the beginning of arthritis in my hips and tendonosis in my left Achilles tendon. Neither require medical intervention. All in all, I feel good.
I am blessed with friends, am involved in my community, and have just published my first book. My spiritual life, such as it is, grounds me. While not rich by any American standard, Deloris and I have sufficient funds to support our lifestyle for the foreseeable future. We are both thankful for the physical beauty and supportive lifestyle in which we live.
So, what’s next, besides marketing my book. Is there any need for me to do anything more to justify my life? Or can I just relax and have fun? And, what does having fun look like? How does an old Hippie age? My creative abilities, such as they are, manifest in my writing. I play at golf, but do not consider it to be a lifestyle. I don’t fish, sail, tinker, renovate cars, houses, or anything else. I am not a collector; I have no passion to accumulate things, including knowledge. In many ways, I guess I am an intellectual dilettante, which is not a bad way to be.
As I get ready to prepare the house for the gathering of my Circle of Caring this evening, I offer up blessings to my parents for my existence and giving me the foundation to make myself into the person I am. A person I am comfortable to live with, and in. I greet this day, my birthday, with a sense of wonder and a curiosity of what this next circle around the sun will bring in my life. Whatever it is, I hope to be able to accept it with equanimity and appreciation. If I am able to do so, then perhaps I have learned some valuable lessons in my first 72 years.