News and Views

From my kids accomplishments, to my heretical perspective of the world

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How terribly strange…

March 10th, 2011 · 3 Comments

Simon and Garfunkel had a song called “Old Friends”, that has the line: “How terribly strange to be seventy.”

I’m not 70 yet, but I did turn 60 today, and I have to say that it is terribly strange.

How different 60 looks from this perspective than it did when I was a youngster (under 30). Back then, even 40 was old and 60 was ancient. But I don’t feel old! I feel the same as I did when I was 25!

Or do I? My recent cataract surgery made me aware of how changes that creep up on you can go undetected. I was astonished after surgery when suddenly I could see everything so clearly. My vision had faded so slowly over the years that I didn’t realize how much I had lost.

Have my other capabilities and senses faded the same way, so slowly that I have not been aware of the changes? If I could suddenly run, or jump, or work or think or remember as well as I could at 25, would I be just as amazed?

Probably. Undoubtedly. But I can also remember back to my youth and be sure that I am much more content now than I was then. The angst of high school and the slow growth of self-confidence and “comfort in my own skin” over the years is one of the changes of aging that I am aware of and do not regret. Wisdom is a hard thing to define, but the years of experience that wear us down also teach us how the world works and help us make better decisions. Physically and mentally I know that I am in a slow decline that will continue as long as I live. But fortunately, along with the decline is a growing understanding and acceptance of the world and the inevitability of my arc through it.

OK, I’m 60 and it’s terribly strange. But it’s not bad!

Tags: Family Updates

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Don // Mar 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Happy Birthday Old Man!

    Yeah, I don’t feel my age either.

  • 2 Heather // Mar 10, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Just popping by with a Birthday Hi!

    As we celebrated with Carsten today I thought of you on your birthday. I hope it was great!

  • 3 Mom // Mar 11, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    You’re not getting older; you’re just getting better.