December 15, 2009
Four days left to ruminate on being 62. In the waning days of this peculiar age I feel compelled to send a warning back through the ranks to my younger friends toiling up the trail behind me, unsure of their future, and insecure about what they will meet farther along.
As you cruise towards, or, into, your sixties you will notice it is much easier to be satisfied. This is because for the first time in your life you don’t really give a damn what other people think. And when you don’t care what people think about you, all sorts of options open up. Live and let live and all that crap.
For example, being a slave to fashion and peer pressure goes out the window. Perhaps when you were younger, like me, you wore your pants down around the crack of your ass. It seemed cool at the time and everyone who was very cool was doing it. But this is not comfortable at 62. It's called The Low Pants Creeping Up Rule: for every year over forty, you will pull your pants up, on average, another half inch. (this morning in yoga my sweats pants were just below my nipples and it felt DAMN GOOD!) And, I'm actually looking forward to wearing them even higher, over my ears perhaps with the zipper down, looking out at the world with my bug eyes, just egging on those dirty looks from every MTV fashion plate I meet.
You will soon realize you don’t have to be right all the time because you know how often being right made a difference (hint: usually nada and diddly squat).
At least half the things you feverently believed in when you were twenty, you no longer believe in, or they don’t apply. For example Free Love. Maybe, if they threw in free antibiotics. Show some restraint Young People! Everyone has the right to get high and have sex with whoever they want. Fine. Just stay off my lawn. True, I don’t have a lawn, but you know what I mean.
You will, however, be quite sore. When I was forty, I realized every day when I woke up, something hurt. At sixty, that expands to several things at once. Especially getting up in the morning. It takes me half the driveway to get my back unkinked, and then when I bend down to pick up the newspaper I realize, I’m going to be staying down there for a few moments, so I waddle around the cactus acting like I’m pruning, or doing this on purpose. But, I'm usually back in the house by sunrise.
So, I've got that going for me.
Sayings that befuddle you when you were younger, suddenly will make sense: “You will live and you will die. Both are good.”
Boy Howdy. I don't know how much longer I'll be here, but I have a hunch ol' Colette will have something pithy to say about it.
"What a wonderful life I've had!
I only wish I'd realized it sooner.
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