Today is my birthday. I am 85 years old.
I want to share with you my thoughts re aging on this my 85th birthday.
Everything was just yesterday. Kindergarten, grammar school, first bike, first job, first girl friend, first kiss, high school, college, law school, early days practicing law, marriage, son being born, then 3 daughters, first trial, each step in the development of my practice, great victories, terrible defeats, a dying marriage, the women I loved, the women who loved me, first car, first new car, illnesses, my grandparents, my parents, grandchildren being born, purchase of Key West home, becoming a writer, the Chart Room, my many friends, death all around me in increasing numbers as time goes on.
Yesterday in the sense that all these things occurred time wise for me only yesterday. Not years ago.
Which means time moves fast. The years get shorter. Each succeeding year shorter than the previous. Here it is July and New Years was only yesterday.
You move towards death at a resounding speed.
Death itself does not concern me. I view it as one of two things. When you have had an operation, they inject you with something to put you under. Everything is black. Not even a dream. If there is no after life, such will be death.
On the other hand, I would prefer an afterlife. Not because I want to live forever. Rather I want to see those I loved so much who went before me. Especially my parents and grandparents.
My mind is locked at 35. The body ages, the mind does not. I still think 35.
The body unfortunately does not stay put. Its goal is total deterioration.
I have abused my body on occasion. Not badly, however. Overall took care of it. At 31, I got sick and spent 4 months in bed. I’ve been a hypochondriac since. Which means I go to the doctor frequently. Check every pain and discomfort.
The body is like a car. You have to bring the car to a garage to be tuned up. So too must the body. To the doctor’s office.
I have a number of physical ailments at 85. Take 16 prescription pills a day. Says it all. No need to detail each problem.
Except for one. My heart. My major defect.
We are our parents. My father had a heart problem. For years. He lived to 98, however.
I have the same problem. Hopefully, I will make it to 98.
Genetics are on my side. My grandfather lived to 94. One of my father’s sisters 102.
The mind gets smarter as one ages. It must be the accumulation of knowledge factor. When I was 50, it dawned on me how smart I was. As a lawyer. By 60, I knew everything I had to know in my specialty. I even impressed myself.
The brain has many cells. It seems to accumulate.
Caronavirus scares me. They say we who are 80 plus are most susceptible. Especially if there is an underlying malady involved. I have mine. The heart.
I watch my health. Today is not only my birthday, it is also the 117th day of self-quarantine. I have only left the house two times. For a doctor visit each time and then immediately home.
One thing very noticeable is that you have fewer friends as you age. They die or move away. I sometimes feel I am the grandfather of the Chart Room. I am one of the few long timers left.
My doctors bother me in one respect. I have a few minor problems that should be corrected. No one wants to operate on me. Anesthesia the problem. Seems to kill people at my age.
Another thing is what doctors tell me when I want answers to what is bothering me. They tell me the same thing that they told my father: You have outlived the books.
Should be encouraging. Not.
When abortion first became an issue, I was anti-abortion. My thoughts have since changed. Not the point, however.
One of my concerns then was if we permit the killing of the young (I believe a fetus is life) today, society will permit the killing of the old tomorrow. Tomorrow has arrived and I am one of the old. And society and medicine do occasionally talk about the elderly being expendable in certain cases.
I am not interested in taking a pill at a certain age so others can live.
Research and writing have kept me going. I am mentally alert and sharp. Every day in my 14 years of retirement, I research and write. The blog every day. A couple of books. Working on 3 others I never seem to finish.
I sincerely believe that were I not involved so much with reading and writing I might be sitting in a wheel chair in a nursing home with my tongue hanging out.
I have been a failure at exercise. I used to run and walk. Two to three miles a day for years. Cross country skied every evening after work for years.
Now, nothing. Not healthy I know. The desire, urge has left me over the years. Bothers me especially since my grandfather and father were big walkers for years. Three to five miles a day.
Time brings with it changes. I have tried to keep up. Believe I have done pretty good. The computer an example. I might add I consider the computer THE invention of my generation. The internet can only be described as wow! The biggest things since the industrial revolution.
I hope I bored you not!
Enjoy your day!