60? 60 what, you are probably thinking... 60 miles? 60 minutes? 60 chocolate glazed donuts? No, what I am referring to is years - you see, last month was my birthday and yes, I am now 60 years old. My wife found this on Facebook and I thought, since I am talking about turning 60, I'd share it with you!
Perks of Turning 60 Kidnappers are not very interested in you anymore.
In a hostage situation, you are likely to be released first.
No one expects you to run - anywhere.
People call at 8pm and ask "Did I wake you?"
People can no longer call you a hypochondriac.
There is nothing left to learn the 'hard' way.
Things you buy now won't wear out.
You can eat supper at 4pm.
You can live without sex but not without glasses.
Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.
Ha! Well, #10 is definitely true for those of us with Parkinson's - except that we went too far with our dopamine brain cells!
Seriously, though, turning 60 for me wasn't exactly the most pleasant experience, but at the same time it didn't seem as big a deal as - say when I turned 40 or even 50! It seemed like more of 'just another day' than those previous birthdays did. Plus the fact that my wonderful friends and family gave me a surprise birthday celebration a couple of weeks ago - well, that helped me a lot in getting over that 'being 60' hurdle!
But now, as I sit back here at the computer and reflect on being 60, I came up with a few observations that I'd like to share with my readers today (or, as put another way, 'get them off my chest'!):
The first thought, or question that comes to mind for me is, "What have I accomplished in my life these last 60 years?" Well, other than eating about 2000 Tootsie Rolls, I can think of a few things: I graduated from high school and collage - both with honors; I found the love of my life (i.e. someone who can put up with me!) that I married 20 years ago; I had a long career with various companies (including a 17 year stretch with Upjohn); I went on a few missionary trips to Appalachia with ASP; I finally saw the Rocky Mountains (just last year); I've owned a few homes to live in; and basically (at least up till a few years ago) been pretty healthy. I still have a number of 'accomplishments' that I want to do - most of which are on my bucket list... Plus I've been blessed in so many other ways - and I find that on some of those 'down' days it's good to remember how God has blessed an ancient 60 year old like me! It's definitely puts more focus on your life.
Older But Wiser?
The question always comes up at birthday times, "You're older but are you any wiser?" At the expense of my family and friends laughing hysterically, I do think I am a 'tad' bit more wiser now than when I was 20 or 30! I want to think I've learned something in these last 60 years (remember my 101 Common Sense class!) and that I haven't been too much of a pain in the neck to others (or can that be considered one of my accomplishments?) To be honest, I'm not a 'Solomon' of wisdom, but I think I've learned enough that others would feel that they could ask my opinion of anything and that my reply wouldn't be complete nonsense.... well, at least most of the time anyway! <grin>
'I remember when....'
It always bugged me when my parents said this; now I am seem to be like my them, always remarking, "I remember when...". Sometimes those "I remember when's" go back only a few years ago; sometimes decades! Who remembers the Cold War with the Soviet Union? Who remembers gas wars, right down here on Sprinkle road, when gas was 25 cents a gallon (or less) at times? Who remembers the Vega, Pony or Gremlin cars? (I did own a Vega, and I always wanted a Gremlin... Why? I really don't know, but I guess I thought it looked cool, and the name was definitely distinctive!) And try explaining 8-track tapes to a teenager these days! ("Huh? You had WHAT? And they were THAT big? Why??") Or, especially in my case, I remember when computers were either large mainframes that only the so-called 'egg heads' could use, or big bulky desktop units such as my first computer, the Commodore PET! (below) Now we have cell phones and watches that have at least 1000x more power than some of those old mainframes had!! Yes, times sure are different now than 10, 20, or 60 years ago!
WOW! Does that sound old or what? But the fact of the matter remains, that I have been on this earth for 6 decades! That's 1,893,456,000 seconds, 31,557,600 minutes, 525,960 hours or 21,915 days! (Betcha didn't know I could calculate that, huh?? The internet helps!)
Still a Kid at Heart
What can I say? I'm sure my family is vigorously nodding their heads in agreement with this! Just because I am 60 years old doesn't mean I have to ACT like I'm 60! It's MUCH more fun when you can still be a child at heart; it sure makes life a lot more interesting! Remember, you're only as old as you feel! Although there are days when I feel like I'm... well, let's not go there, shall we??
As I had mentioned in a previous blog entry, I didn't know that I would be retired when I turned 60. Nor did I even think that it would be because of my health (more on that later). But here I am, at 60 years of age, and retired. And not simply because I wanted to (not that I don't enjoy it, mind you), but because I really had no choice in the matter due to good-old Parkinson's. But still, I always figured on working a little bit more. Regardless, though, I intend to enjoy it while I can!!
If you had told me at 20 that by the time I reached 60 I would have a disease called Parkinson's, the first thing I probably would have asked is, "What's Parkinson's?" Once I found out what it was, I probably would have laughed and said, "Nah, that's an old person's disease!" Well, times have sure changed, haven't they? It almost feels at times like I've had PD forever, when in reality it's only been less than 4 years since I was diagnosed! In any event, I am thankful that at least, at this time in my life, I am not as worse off as I could be - and, as I mentioned in previous blog entries, I'm glad that it happened now in this day and age where we have drugs and surgery (DBS for instance) to help us Parkies live with this disease. 60 years ago there weren't ANY drugs like Levodopa (discovered in the 1960's) that would help manage some of the motor symptoms of PD. So I am glad that at least now we all have options!
Well, there you have it, just a few of my reflections on turning 60! I would like to say that I hope to live another 60 years, but... well, with PD I doubt it - in fact, these days that would be rare even for someone without any health issues! But who knows what the next few years will bring? As I have said all along, you just have to leave it in God's hands and let it go - you'll live as long as you will live. I intend to do so, and have as much fun as possible along the way! I'm in the process of finishing Part 1 of my new series, "Parkinson's Illegitimate Children" so hopefully that will be ready soon. In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed my 'reflections' and maybe even jarred a few memories or reflections of your own life! So stay tuned, loyal readers, more Deep Brain Thoughts to come this year!!