As I approached 25, for example, I felt like I was going over a hump. Twenty-five seemed to be the entry point to true adulthood. Good-bye to friends going out for a few drinks and playing cards until way past midnight. Hello to working holding down more than one job because you really need the money to support yourself and a family. Thirty came and went, but 35, well, 35 was a big one because I was getting close to 40. True grown-up time. Forty came and went and, as I approached 45 it was like my young life was ending and I was entering the “it’s the wind down phase” phase. Coincidentally, it was in my early 40s that I finished my career in politics, so another milestone was passing into history. I had the privilege of working in the White House and as those years came to an end, colleagues and I would discuss topics such as, “what do we do that will ever be as exciting as this?” So, the growth in my career also seemed to be over. I mean, I had already earned the career highlights that will be featured in my obit, so what’s left?
Fifty approached and, OMG, 50!!! But, still, 50 didn’t bother me as much as 55. Which brings me to now. Sixty came and went and last year, as I hit 64 – and the traditional playing of the Beatles “When I’m 64” started to fade - now I get to stare 65 in the face in a few months. Sixty-five! After that, uh, 70??? Now, don’t get me wrong, aging is far better than the alternative and, as most of us say as we age, “I still think I’m 30,” and I do. It was only recently that I looked in the mirror and started to see my neck had become the neck of an older man. Recently, I began to realize that I may feel 30 but I sure don’t look 30. Clearly, I look to be in my 60s.
Proven, when they no longer ask if I qualify for the senior ticket at a movie or a senior discount elsewhere. They assume I qualify. That hurts, because that means I’m nearly 65 and everyone knows it. Again, I’m not complaining. My health is good. I’ve retired when others my age haven’t – either by choice or financial inability. Life is good.
But I am quickly heading to another “five” milestone. I’m happy about it (as if I have a choice) but I’m also a bit intimidated by it on many levels. Social security, Medicare. Now I have to really learn about all that because, well, I’m about to quality. For Medicare!!! Holy crap.