Turning Sixty

May 24, 2009. Don’t feel different from yesterday, when I was in my fifties. But I do feel different from May 24, 1989, when I got up and ran 10 miles to celebrate 40. And I do feel different from May 24, 1967, when I graduated from Hobart High School. And I do feel different from May 24, 1955 when I got a new tricycle and Roy Rogers chaps. . . Hmmm, shouldn’t I have been riding a bicycle by then?
But, you know, I don’t really feel different. Internally, I am the same person and chronological age really has no felt meaning unless I or someone draws it to my attention – what gerontologists call “timing events.” Age is actually a pretty weak variable for determing who we are, who we should associate with, who we can be, how we should feel.
I have always looked forward to old age, though people sometimes express surprise at this position. So far, it has brought good things – two incredible grandchildren, for example. Yes, it brings loss too, but this makes the beautiful world what it is.
Take your place on the great Mandala, as it moves through your brief moment of time. (lyrics by P, P and M).

4 Responses to Turning Sixty

  1. Amy Magan says:

    Happy Birthday Phil! As a gift to you, I added your blog to our blogroll (would have done it sooner if I’d known about it!). Have a great year!

  2. Phil Stafford says:

    don’t know what a blogroll is, but thanks!

  3. Duane Etienne says:

    So, Phil, you finally passed the magical threshold – just a child, really. I have found with age that I have more tolerance in some areas and less in others. I do hope, and believe, that one has the opportunity to become more wise with the accumulation of years and experiences, but there are no guarantees.

    • agingindiana says:

      I agree, and more tolerance derives, I believe, from our own shortcomings and failures over the years, meaning we simply apply the same standard to others that we would to ourselves. As for less tolerance, I think that might derive from the same place, meaning that when we assess our own shortcomings we may say “I should have known better”, and now are able to apply that same standard to others – “You should know better.”

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