Blogs by Linda Lange
THIS BIG ONE DOESN'T NECESSARILY BITE
10/14/2012 10:18:52 AM
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Reaction to a milestone birthday
Two days ago, I turned sixty-five. If you know me or have read my book, youíre aware that Iím the person who panicked at the prospect of my fortieth birthday. I had a mid-life crisis that lasted for years and wrote a musical comedy about my angst. So how am I handling my new senior status?
Quite well, thank you.
Not a kid anymore ...
I should establish that Iíve been lucky, health-wise. Sixty-five-year-olds who suffer from severe arthritis, balky hearts, or dementia surely donít feel the way I do. Iím a breast cancer survivor, but Iím ten years out. I have Type 2 diabetes, but after losing fifty pounds, I can control it with food choices and exercise. I weigh only a few pounds more than I did in high school, and when I work out, I occasionally feel that sweet sense of connection that I did playing sports as a teen. I still feel good about my body, and if I take care of it, it should last a while.
I used to say I only wanted to hear the word ďseniorĒ if it was followed by the word ďdiscount.Ē Some senior discounts start at fifty-five, sixtyÖ now I get Ďem all. Even Medicare, the ultimate senior discount.
I confess, I use my advanced age to get out of doing things I donít want to do. I honestly donít have the physical stamina I used to, but sometimes I simply take advantage. Why do heavy liftingóliteral or figurativeóif thereís someone willing to help the gray-haired lady?
A corollary, and an important one: Women of my generation have a hard time saying ďno.Ē We were the ones who felt compelled to be supermoms, combining marriage, kids, and a career. Sometimes we ended up feeling trapped. Now, I use my age as an excuse to step away from onerous responsibilities. ďBeen there, done that. Now itís someone elseís turn.Ē
Photo courtesy of C. Linda Dowell
Some of my friends have retired, so we have time to travel together or reconnect on the Internet. I use Facebook for book marketing, and Iíve become reacquainted with several classmates through that site. Itís fun to comment on their posts and see photos of their travels and their grandchildren. Iím devoted to the Internet, and if age eventually robs me of mobility, Iíll diligently use the ĎNet to stay in touch.
With age, Iíve gained perspective. Iím not going to claim that I never sweat the small stuff, but I believe I have a better feel for whatís important and whatís not. Iíve seen enough that fewer events surprise me, and I think thatís a good thing.
At sixty-five, I still have adventures. Becoming a first-time author at sixty-three was an adventure, and so is marketing my book. Iíve had author signings and a speaking engagement this year. Next week Iíll attempt a festival vendor booth and a radio interview. I learn something new every week.
So far, sixty-five doesnít seem so bad. Happy Birthday to me.
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