Okay, I'm going to bring it right out front.
Today's my birthday. I'm 66 years old. Please hold your applause.
I look at that number and kind of wonder how I got here. When I was (by age) a single-digit child, back during those elementary Pennsylvania days on the playground, climbing jungle gyms and waxing down metal sliding boards without the hint of adult supervision, anybody older than my parents was just plain old.
(Spoiler alert: I suspect my parents knew what I was doing at every moment. The city playground was just across the street from our house, and Dad even spent one summer as the playground supervisor. But I was given — gifted, actually — an incredible sense of independence for a 6-year-old. Thank you for that.)
My parents were my frame of reference. Therefore, my grandparents were old. Grey haired. Blue haired. Wrinkled. Kindly, that's true enough. But that's because they were old.
Never figured I'd cross that threshold one day. And just which day did that happen? Was I asleep? Or daydreaming? Watching TV one night, eating pizza and drinking beer, and I got old?
Now that I'm here, 66 doesn't sound that old anymore. And I don't feel what I once imagined being 66 might feel like. I still work out at the Y (I'll have to remember to key in "66" as my age when I set the parameters on my machine Monday). I take a minimum of medications, primarily for my heart, so I reckon I'm probably lucid on most days.
I started Medicare last year and next month I receive my first Social Security deposit, which are sure signs that in the eyes of the government, I'm old.
Yet, I still have two parttime jobs, so I'm not wiling away wasted hours waiting for my wife to come home from work. If I wasn't working, I'd probably be doing one of two things: playing golf, or puttering around the yard. The yard, of course, is in constant demand. So is my golf game.
And I still like to write, which is the reason for my blog. To me, writing is like magic, where words and ideas take form on a blank sheet and — poof — suddenly appear as artistry, or a memory, or a smile. And if readers can relate to that, that's cool. I've done my job.
So today I start another trip around the sun. I'm looking forward to an unpredictable ride.
But first, cake. I gotta have cake...