Monday, August 29, 2005

The Next Half-Century

So, I turned 50 last week. It was an ordinary day in an ordinary week, which was just fine by me. No big hoopla. In light of what's happened this year so far, more of which will come out as I post, I'm lucky to have made it to 50.

Everybody says they don't feel any different. They feel the same as they did (I'm talking emotionally and mentally) when they were young; it's just the outside is starting to fall apart. And I've got things wrong with me I'd hoped I'd never have to deal with. It's almost a bit of a shock when you suddenly realize that youth is gone and you're on that downward slide to elder-hood.

Of course, you know all along, intellectually, that you're gonna get old. Rather, that you'll get old if you don't get yourself killed. You know. Except . . . you don't *know*.

Nowadays, 50 is middle age. When I was a kid, I used to think 50 was middle-aged. I mean, it was halfway between born and 100. In the middle, as it were. Hence, 50 years old was middle-aged. Was a little surprised when I found out that middle-age used to be considered to be between late thirties and late forties. You were getting old when you reached 50. Officially old when you got to be 60. Hell, AARP sends their propaganda to you when you're 50. (They haven't quite caught up with the times yet.)

You ought to meet my mom. She redefines the late-sixties. Doesn't look a day over 50. She's amazing. Oh, she has health problems. For crying out loud, she's 68! If she didn't have health problems, I'd wonder. And she's always had some kind of health problem, but it never got her down (the morphine for pain might've, but not the problem itself). (She and I both have a deep appreciation for morphine... heheheh.)

Well, I can hardly wait for the AARP literature. I understand you don't get a senior citizen discount anymore until you're at least 55 now—some places 60. Dammit. Missed that little window of opportunity. Eh. I'm gonna stay alive long enough to cash in on that senior citizen discount just to make sure I get it. (And I hope to stay alive long enough to get at least one payment from Social Security—probably won't, but that's a subject for another time.)

And I totally understand the curmudgeon lifestyle and attitude.

Bring on the next half-century!


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