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Monday, 21 November 2022


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Re: Growing Old.

I shovel my walks and driveway edge to edge and end to end but ... I just bought a snow blower. Like any kind of insurance, I hope it spends the winter quietly in the garage. Unused.

Check back in April.

“He was going to live forever, or die in the attempt.” ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22

I was born with a predisposition to look old. I remember when I was in the Boy Scouts and my father attended various functions, over and over I heard, "So, you're here to support your Grandson." He got tired of explaining that he was my father.

When I hit 40, most every restaurant that I went to gave me the senior discount without asking. I felt like a million bucks on the inside, but must have looked like a dollar thirty eight to the world. After my Father passed, I was going through his old photos and he really did look 60 at 40... and he looked exactly like me. I stopped resisting and accepted the senior discount.

Now at 65, I think my face stopped aging and let my body catch up, but somehow I feel that I was cheated out of that cool middle age "not young, but not yet old" period.

…wait?...what’s that?....oh, it’s you...what time is it?

"When I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer, the problem went away...acceptance is the answer to all my problems today."

Perspective is everything.

Setting: Monk’s Diner :-)

Ben Cantwell: No, I feel great for 85.

George Costanza: Y'know the average life span for an American male is like, 72. You're really... kinda pushin' the envelope there.

Ben: I'm not afraid of dyin'. I never think about it.

George: You don't? Boy, I think about it a lot. I think about it at my age. Imagine how much I'll be thinkin' about it at your age. All I'll do is keep thinkin' about it until it drives me insane...

Ben: I'm grateful for every moment I have.

George: Grateful? How can you be grateful when you're *so* close to the end? When you know that any second-- Poof! Bamm-O! It can all be over. I mean you're not stupid, you can read the handwriting on the wall. It's a matter of simple arithmetic, for Gods sake...

Ben: I guess I just don't care.

George: What are you talking about? How can you sit there and look me in the eye and tell that me you're not worried?! Don't you have any *sense*?!! Don't you have a brain!? Are you so completely senile that you don't know what you're talkin about anymore!!?!

George: Wait a second, where are you going?

Ben: Life's too short to waste on you.

George: Wait a minute, please--

Ben: Get out of my way...

George: But Mr. Cantwell, you... you owe me for the soup...

I've never bought into the fine wine BS. Thirty is the new 20, 40 the new 30, 50 the new 40, but once ya hit 60- the joke is over. And I've seen too many people go down in all sorts of ways between 65 and 70; a veritable minefield, that stretch- no matter how good your health.

Don't mean to be down, just realistic. You can prepare and safeguard all you want (as you well should)- but nature's gonna do what nature's gonna do, regardless of your plans. That said, I wish everyone a healthy life (no matter the longevity) and may we all go out as wondrously productively as Lee Friedlander...

Now at 80, I just look at my life and marvel that I got here. Back in February I sent out an invitation for my "surprised" 80th birthday party.

Im pushing 80 and the last decade was the most interesting, exciting and productive so far. Hopefully the next one will be better.

I'll be 65 at the end of May and begin social security. I have been looking forward to this, just like I was looking forward to 62 so I could get a lifetime National Park Pass for a lot less. Florida’s state park campsite fees will also go down 50% at age 65 for residents (my camper van is for traveling and landscape photography).

I am active, but my step has slowed a little since I broke my leg in 2017. My health is excellent according to my doctor visit last month, with no need for medications except vitamin supplements. I still have a lot of energy, but now I want to say goodbye to long hair as I am tired of wearing it up and back; shoulder-length or shorter sounds good and is much easier to care for.

I enjoy life a lot more now that I do not have to worry much about paying bills or keeping up appearances, and my son is deep into a successful career. I have been told that keeping the mind active is a good way to avoid age-related cognitive issues. So I have no plans to give up photography and art or my side business, and I will keep my local library active with inter-library loan requests.

I am looking forward to retirement!

PS: That George Costanza guy is a loser!

Now 67. Feel exactly the way I did when I was 40. No surrender. No "quietly into the night"

Don't change the pace. Don't change the discipline. Don't stop.

If I had a motto that would be it.

Oh. And God Bless compound interest...

Mother Night

Eternities before the first-born day,
Or ere the first sun fledged his wings of flame,
Calm Night, the everlasting and the same,
A brooding mother over chaos lay.
And whirling suns shall blaze and then decay,
Shall run their fiery courses and then claim
The haven of the darkness whence they came;
Back to Nirvanic peace shall grope their way.

So when my feeble sun of life burns out,
And sounded is the hour for my long sleep,
I shall, full weary of the feverish light,
Welcome the darkness without fear or doubt,
And heavy-lidded, I shall softly creep
Into the quiet bosom of the Night.

- James Weldon Johnson, (1871–1938).
- The Book of American Negro Poetry, James Weldon Johnson, ed.. 1922.

So far as I can tell, this is out of copyright.

I Lee Friedlander dead? I have not heard that.

[No, he's alive and 88 now. And lives, if this book is to be believed, in a house chock full of his own books.



I'm with David Saxe. Each decade has surpassed the one before. I'm kind of excited to see what my 80s bring.

The odd thing has been the occasional thought, when in a wonderful place, physical and/or emotional, "My dad missed all this by dying so soon (67)."

The first couple of times, it was an almost physical jolt, with sadness for him. Now that I've outlived him by over ten years, it's just an occasional passing thought.

How do you know that you look old?
When young people spring up in the Rental Car Shuttle Bus and insist that we take their seats. My wife and I accepted gratefully.

Here is where I get confused: It's when someone tells me to "act my age."

I'm now 78 and I realize I probably have 10 good years left in me. I want more but I really just want to reach 90. Yes I know that is 12 years away not 10. So I cheat. Again I am maybe acting my age.

I wonder, are there more of us over 70 than those under 50? Just a thought.

Heard her NPR the other day, worth the time to watch: https://www.ted.com/talks/ashton_applewhite_let_s_end_ageism?language=en.

I will be 79 in a few months time. I few years back, having bought a senior citizens ticket for the Prado in Madrid, I was surprised to be asked prove I was old enough for the concession. Also about 10 years ago a young girl offered me her seat on a Dusseldorf tram.I declined. Today Id accept

85 isn’t so bad, just as long as you still retain your driving licence and can afford to run the car. The worst part, for me, is losing my better half fourteen years ago: that never heals, just changes into another kind of concept where approaching death offers the best means of finding her again. (Memory, and something as mundane as an old driving licence photo to preserve it, can become invaluable.)

Of course, that requires faith that human life is more than accident. In my own case, life has shown me that pretty much everything that happens, either for better or for worse, does so as result of something else, even if quite often beyond my control. On top of that, there seems to me to be a purpose behind it all; I write purpose, but there’s little to back that up other than the feeling that, overall, that’s how it’s worked out. If I’m mistaken, I will never know, so at least, with some kind of faith, the present isn’t too heavy to bear.

The elephant in everyone’s room is health. Lose that badly enough, you're toast.

Mike, the comments are going to be very interesting to read. Good topic for us.

I don't wish to be younger. I was very young when JFK was assassinated, so I didn't realize what a momentous event it was until years later. I sort of remember the Kent State shootings on the evening news, but my younger brother remembers it even better.

I got to see man land on the moon. (I remarked as such to a younger person and she said, "I've seen the moon landing." I replied,"Live?" Then she understood.)

My youth was full of beautifully-styled cars and a particular Stingray my uncle had. We had a '67 Mustang, yet a couple of years later, my dad hosted some people from work and one guy had a'69 Mach 1. I spent quite a bit of time looking at all the blacked out panels and various decals. It seemed like a car five years ahead of its time in styling.

There was such originality in so many fields, including music. Who would write a song like Frankenstein, or Hotel California, or American Pie today? Not exactly like them, of course, but as imaginative.

So many classic movies from the '70s too. Jaws, Star Wars, Dirty Harry, Chinatown, The Godfather, Saturday Night Fever, All the President's Men, and so on.

I got to see the computer revolution. A fun hobby at first, then it slowly became a P.I.T.A., until digital photography came along. I spend too much time on the internet, even though I have several unread books staring at me from the bookcase. I dunno, maybe we're all computer geeks in some way.

(Taking that typing class in high school turned out to be very useful!)

I was luckily too young to be drafted for Vietnam and the Iranian hostage standoff was resolved as soon as Reagan took the oath of office.

I would hate to be a slave of social media as many are today. At my age, I can ignore it and not have a thought about what I might be missing.

My dad lived a much more interesting life than I have. He passed along loads of Kodachrome slides that have the same colors as when they were taken. Thankfully, he took pretty good notes and now that he's gone, the slides aren't a total mystery.

Well, I'm 66 now---keep thinking I'm 67 for some damn reason---and still involved in a job that requires some significant physical labor, and my commute is about 4 hours round trip on top of an 8 hour day, with about 5 miles of walking between the dog walks, to and from the train stations. And that doesn't include all the walking and standing and kneeling in the museum on its terrazzo and Ardex on concrete floors.

I'm feeling it. It's tougher every year, and I can feel my body getting increasingly creaky. I'm different mentally, too, but in an odd way. Hard-to-describe-sort-of-the-same, but metamorphosed into some other kind of rock.

Growing old is sort of a trip, real slow psychedelia.

I'm 71, and feel the same way. Two things are keeping me from feeling too old - my toddler granddaughter, who is rekindling my joy for play, and my renewed passion for photography. Primary subject, my granddaughter of course. I'm convinced that passion for something/anything is what keeps us young.

Congratulations Mike, they look great! I hope you sell a whole bunch. Unfortunately, I’m not a purchaser this round… saving for some renovations.

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