I have one daughter in her 40s, and one knocking on the door, and another waiting outside that door. I have six grandchildren, two of whom recently celebrated their 21st birthdays, two of whom recently celebrated their 3rd birthday. (I have range. Or my kids do anyway).
I am retired for a couple of years now, something I aspired to but never thought I’d achieve. I am happily married for nearly a dozen years to a woman I knew in college but hadn’t seen for nearly 30 years.
I have been on Medicare for a year and am about to go on Social Security.
I, thankfully, have good health. Though, in a sign of the aging process, I am having cataract surgery later this month, and I won’t mention those two kidney stones in the last year (but even with those I was lucky. No pain with either. Cross your fingers if a third is on its way.)
It really ain’t so bad.
But it is 66, just like that show 100 years ago with two guys tooling around the country in a Corvette. (Sorry to those of a certain -- younger - age. You won't get the reference.)
66 also is a number with other significance. Did you know, for example, 66:
- is a semi-perfect number, being a multiple of a perfect number?
- is the atomic number of dysprosium, a lanthanide?
- is the total number of chapters in the Bible book of Isaiah?
- is the retired jersey number of linebacker Ray Nitschkie of the Green Bay Packers?
But enough of my Wikipedia prowess.
To me 66 is one of those milestone years. I never was concerned about the “0’s”. You know, 20, 30, 40 etc. Those birthdays never bothered me much. For me, it was the “5’s” –25, 35, 45, etc. Those seemed to me to be going over the hump. Call them my Hump Years.
So, 66 is a big number to me. I don’t feel old. I still think I’m that 25-year-old guy I see when I look in the mirror (allow me my fantasies, please, I’m 66). When grey hairs fall on the sheet during my haircut, I ask the barber if she is shedding (even though she’s in her 30s, at most) because I don’t see grey hair on my head when I look in the mirror and it has to be coming from somewhere.
I’ve had a terrific career. I have kids who’ve turned out well and grandchildren who are on their own journeys. And I get to watch. That’s cool.
I’ve made some very good friends, some of whom I've had since have since grammar school and high school, and close friends I made far later in life. I’m very fortunate.
But, it also is 66, which means I can begin to see 70 on the horizon.
70 is one of those “0” years that is a biggie. By then I will have passed my 50th high school reunion – 50! Not sure we’ll have one, pretty sure I’d go. Last time I went to a reunion of childhood friends (just a few years ago), I couldn’t believe how all of them had changed so much. And I hadn’t. (Please, again, allow me my fantasies. I’m 66.)
But at my 50th reunion I’ll see, I hope, fellows who were on the basketball team. Tall athletic, talented guys who almost won the state championship and who will all be 68 years old, like me. I kind of doubt we’ll play a pick-up game, although maybe they've slowed down enough that I can finally keep up with them. And I’ll see all those cute girls I never thought I had a chance with. And, probably still wouldn't.
And I’m looking forward to it all.
It’s far better than the alternative.