Thank Grog It’s Firday!
This has been “one of those weeks,” when all of my deadlines conspired to rob me of precious sleep, at a time when I am supposed to be celebrating time off with the family. The good news about getting old, is that we supposedly require less sleep. As I have been getting about 4 hours a night for the better part of the past 2 weeks, and I am still here to write about it, I’m going to go with that. Coffee helps…as does being able to smile every time I play the “obituary game” in the Sunday paper.
The fact is, when you are young, the thought of living to a “ripe old age” is simply ludicrous to most. When Paul McCartney penned “When I’m 64” when he was 24 years old, it was obvious that he was actually having fun with concept of trying to imagine his life 40 years in the future. And let’s be honest, it wasn’t a pretty picture.
“Send me a postcard, drop me a line, Stating point of view…
Indicate precisely what you mean to say,
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form, Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four”
“Yours sincerely wasting away?” “Will you still feed me?” Holyfreakinshirt!! That sounds like Elder-Abuse!!
Let me make something perfectly clear. I’d be fine with getting old, if my body would just stop aging. And as far as “staying young at heart,” I play and blog about TSTO don’t I??? This is NOT an old man’s game! You need really good reading glasses to see the damn screen details!!
So, what does 64 feel like?
Well…it feels a little achy, with a bit of denial and panic thrown in for good measure. But mostly, it feels good to know that I am “still winning the game.”
My favorite quote about aging is attributed to a few people…but according to “BrainQuotes.com” it may be Ben Franklin who said it first, while Carl Reiner made it famous on an HBO Special. It goes something like, “I wake up every morning and read the obituaries. If my name isn’t in it, I get up and have breakfast.”
My “Obituary Game” is more “team oriented.” Years ago, I arbitrarily decided that living any longer than the “average life expectancy” charts was excessive. As the current U.S. Life Expectancy charts indicate, if I am average, I am supposed to live to at least the age of 76.3 years. So, the way the game is played, is you look at all of the obits, and then count those who died “before their time,” vs those who lived to the proper expiration date, and then figure out if “your team beat the odds.” I’m all about “team.” And I our team “wins,” I feel better about my chances for making it to the finish line. If my team loses (more of us croaking than those who lived beyond 76), I just figure I will ask to be traded from the team when the time comes. Hence the “denial” part.
I hate seeing people younger than me in the obits. I really hate seeing people I know. And I would really, really, really hate to see my own name there.
I have a lot of living to do, if I am going to maximize the last years of my life (as they have been allocated by official census takers of the United States government). For me…that would be a wopping 12.3 more years of life. And let me tell you how fast 12.3 years of life can go by…especially if you spend more time than you should playing mobile games on your padular device, when you could be doing something that matters.
However, part of getting older, is gaining the ability to rationalize almost anything I do–good or bad–in my life. And turning my weird diversion of playing and blogging about a mobile game to a worldwide audience, is offset easily by knowing that the income I earn, goes to help our Friends in Buyijja to have a better life.
And this year, after years of turning my head, and doing the “something has to be done about this,” (while doing nothing but clicking my tongue and shaking my head), I am diving head-first into making a ripple in the ocean of need, that is local homelessness. My involvement with Rotary International, as well as my ability to communicate and motivate, promises to be a full-time endeavor in the coming years. And frankly, after watching countless friends and associates retire to a life of wandering the world on expensive trips, or wandering the golf course in pursuit of “the perfect round,” I am not really ready for retirement.
In fact, I would prefer to do as a good friend of mine did recently, who rather than having a “retirement party,” when he left his position with a research facility, chose instead to have a “Re-Wirement Party.”
Rewirement. I love that term. Because if research proves anything about longevity and enjoying life to the fullest, it is that taking on new challenges, continuing to learn, and simply being too busy to slow down enough to let the grim reaper catch you, is far more advisable than fretting about ways to “keep healthy while avoiding death.”
I’m not afraid to die. I am afraid of being bored to death…or worse, living a life without meaning.
So…if you have read this far, thanks for your patronage. You clearly must fall into the small (and perhaps declining) category of “those who like what Patric writes.” No worries either way. The fact is, I’m too busy these days to care much about opinions, politics, or the latest popular culture. I’d rather just DO…and let the critics eulogize me when I’m gone (critics rarely do much…except have opinions without solutions).
I know that there are a number of you in the “older demographic.” I also know that a goodly number of you are like me, struggling to make sense and add value to the final years of our lives. Here’s my challenge…
Pick something you care about…and then DO something about it. Don’t whine. Don’t talk about the problems without offering a solution. Get to work. This life is only valuable when you bring value to it… It’s not time to retire. It’s time to Rewire!
Here’s to a transformative year! Here’s to making a difference. Here’s to living better…and perhaps longer!
So when it comes to making your “New Year’s Resolutions”…take the focus off of yourself, and point your energy to others.
Losing 10 pounds this year? Pffft...donate time to the local Food Bank to feed those who are hungry every day.
Remodeling the house because you “deserve that new kitchen?” Not before you help find a solution to endemic homelessness in your community.
Take another trip to visit exotic places? How about taking a trip to a country that needs your volunteer help…or taking that travel fund and donating half to a charity that offers shelter to teens, families, or displaced mentally ill?
Let me know what you are doing…
Give me your answer, fill in a form, Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me. When I’m sixty-four
OK. You don’t need to feed me. And you probably don’t need me…
but, I will be 64 on New Year’s Day.
Time for some rewirement…