Sunday, October 27, 2013
My Sunday Feeling
As of last Thursday, I am officially pushing 60. I am barely into my second year of retirement. Or at least of my divorce from Uncle Sam.
Neither of these things seem entirely possible.
I still feel pretty much like I did when I was in my forties. Sure, I have a bad back and shoulder. And sure, I have coronary artery disease despite a fairly healthy diet and lifestyle and I have a bum shoulder.
But I feel pretty good. I still have a lot of energy. I have gained 2 inches in my waistline in 20 years. I still look pretty much as I did 20 years ago too. A little grayer and balder certainly. But folks I haven't seen in years still recognize me. I can't make that claim about every person I run into after a prolonged absence.
It's pretty silly to get too worked up over one's birthday at this age and station in life. Of course, I enjoyed the cards and the phone calls. I was grateful to receive a few presents and to have a nice low-key birthday dinner with somebody who is dear to me. And I got a text around midnight from a young woman who I have in my life. Doesn't she know I am in bed by 10:30?
And I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of birthday greetings I received on Facebook. Over 200! Far in excess of what I remotely deserved. Such a kindness. I am so grateful.
I mainly enjoyed watching my friends enjoying my most recent trip around the sun. Yes, there were the entirely predictable jokes about my becoming elderly. As my friend Steve said, "Congratulations! You don't look a day over 70!"
And if I take everybody up that has offered me a free lunch or dinner, not only will I not have to buy groceries until January, I will have to purchase a new wardrobe!
Really, it's all good.
And I really like my odds of being the first male on my father's side in too generations to get into the 5th decade of life. As my doctor said during my physical, "unlike your father, you're in phenomenal shape, you don't smoke and you take statin drugs. The odds of you dropping dead from a coronary are practically zero." I guess he doesn't get to tell that to everybody my age with CAD and what the white coats refer to as a "strongly positive family history" of early death due to bad tickers.
So really, I don't think about it all that much. Really, I don't. Twice a week, a muscular black gentleman in dreadlocks locks me into a harness. And twice a week, I pull his big ass up and down the track at Scott Field.
Lately we have been doing the cardio portion of the workout out on the football field. I go out for passes. Just like I did when I was a kid, except now I am much creakier, slower and I can't see as well. Apart from that it is circa 1970 all over again. I catch the ball, jog back and we go again. Usually about 10 times. It is great fun to make what passes for a cut at the cone and to watch the ball come out of the sky as I head for the sidelines, the sun and the wind in my face.
Sometimes I even catch the damn thing.
"You know how many guys your age can do this?" Dennis always asks. "Not many."
And in any event, it beats sitting in a law office all to hell.
I've been doing this blog since 2005. Every year around my birthday I've mentioned getting closer to beating, not fulfilling, my genetic destiny. And every year I say I like my odds.
I'm saying it again.
And I'm saying that a more grateful man never existed.