Today is my birthday, turning 64 years old. I would like to share what it feels like for me.
When I was young (in my teens and early 20’s), I never thought I would live to be old. Old at that time was anyone over 30. Dying didn’t scare me, too dumb to know I guess. In my 30’s through 50’s I was way too busy with life, work, family, relationships to think about the aging process. My biggest worry was making money. Turning 64, money is and always will be an issue of course, but now it has softened and I realize it isn’t the be all and end all I thought it was. Now I worry about health, and the fact that I have a limited number of years left, unknown of course. I could live 1 more year, or maybe 40. I take less chances, watch more of what I eat, pay attention to how I feel on the inside. My biggest worry now is to be around as long as possible for my kids. I know the pain of losing a parent, I have lost both of mine. I want to delay that pain for as long as I can for them.
I have done and learned a lot of things in my 64 years. Some good, and some not so good. That doesn’t mean that advise will pertain to anyone else. I have finally learned that what I know may or may not work for me, but not for everyone else. If someone asks my opinion about something, I will gladly give it, but I no longer feel the need to try to direct someone else’s life. That is their responsibility.
Physically, I feel the same as I did when I turned 30, or 40, or 50, or 60. Not much has changed, except my appearance. My teeth are all still there, I still have the same glasses prescription, I can still lift the same amount of weights at the gym, my back is still sore getting out of bed in the morning, I drive the same speed as I always had, I get up and go to bed at the same time, and don’t consider myself old. (Maybe 64 is the new 24). I am more aware of the consequences an injury might have, so I do take less chances of getting hurt.
I am more patient, or at least I think I am. It comes in handy with a teenage daughter and a son under 10.
I care less about what others think of me. I try to be the real me with everyone, including my kids. I want them to know their real Dad. That doesn’t mean I don’t care, but you are being unfair to yourself and others by pretending to be someone you are not.
I am more grateful for the things I have, and less worried about the things I don’t. I am so grateful for my kids. I can’t imagine my life without them. I am grateful for all of the ups and downs in my life, for it has made me the person I am today. Sure, there are lot’s of regrets, but that’s life. The big lesson there, let it go…
Finally, I see the value in living every day 100%, even though I still have a lot of work to do in that area. Life was meant to be enjoyed, each and every minute that we are here. I enjoy sunsets. I only have 365 of them this coming year, and I hope to enjoy each and every one of them.