A friend asked me the other day if being 80 (that happens later this week) would change my life in any way. My answer was that I don’t feel a day older. That’s a smart-mouth answer to a big mouth question.
I feel older every day. Just not "old" older. I’m not much smarter, not more decrepit, not less active, no weaker than I was the day before. I’m just one day closer to the inevitable. But who isn’t?
There are a few things that occur to me regarding my age. One is that I’m at that point in living where when one feels a pain not felt before, or one seems more tired than one remembers from yesterday, one also can’t help but have a fleeting "is this it?" moment. Is this the beginning of the end? The precursor to the big pain, the last pain?
Of course every day we live puts us one day closer to the last day. We all know that, even if we don’t admit it. Especially when we’re young (younger). Is there something one might do about it? Well, of course. One might eat better, stop doing things that might shorten one’s life, try to be a healthier person; that sort of thing. But will that really matter? Perhaps. There are uncertainties that come with living, though. And one doesn’t want to live in the shadow of "what if." At least this person doesn’t.
Living is something one may do in whatever manner one is best suited for. Taking chances, opening possibilities, hiding from it all; whatever way works best for you to give you peace and happiness, or reward of any kind, is what one should do (within the confines of civilized behavior).
I, for one, don’t intend to let the calendar change me. There are many things I can do to slow down the inevitable, but nothing I do will permanently prevent it. And that’s good. Good because after a while it’s time for others to pick up the flag and move forward. I’ll still advance with the rest of the troops, but just not at the head of the charge.
Besides, there are still things I haven’t done that I’d like to do, places I haven’t been that I’d like to go, and a bunch of things I’d like to do again (only more slowly, perhaps). So all-in-all, I’d have to say that realizing 80 (as happened with 60 or 70) is only another day in the life. I don’t intend to deny it. I don’t want to stop it. If you really want to know, here’s the answer:
"I’ll think about it tomorrow."