Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Not Quite Old- But Heading That Way

I was in a conversation the other day with a person more than a decade younger than I am. They were talking about aging and feeling old. That got me thinking again about my place in that arrow of time movement.

Disclaimer-Warning: you are about to have a Baby-boomer talking about himself again, acting and thinking like he- and his cohorts- have just invented the idea of aging. Fair warning.
No, I know we aren't the first to age. But we may be the first generation that has spent our entire life
  • denying our aging
  • trying to make ourselves unique
  • redefining everything we touch into our own image.
Having said that, I realized in this conversation with a person at the other end of the Baby-boomer spectrum that I really don't feel old. Not like I remember people looking and feeling 45 years ago. I don't feel like I am at the end of my life even though I know that the end of one's life can come at any time- and the odds are more and more against me as I continue to add birthdays.
(See sidebar for days, hours, minutes until I'm 65!)
I realized that day that I am in a twilight zone in this early 21st Century. I am no longer young or even middle-aged. But I am not yet at what I see as old. I am close. A physical issue, another round of back problems, a sudden chronic illness- any of these - could send me into that old category rather rapidly. But that's the way life must be, I think. I am 16 years older than my mother was when she died and nearly 6 years older than my father was at his death. So I am aware. I am not in denial (I hope.)

Instead I continue to do what I can do. Fortunately, at this point, that is quite a lot. I work out, I bicycle, I write and read and work. I enjoy all these things. I have been given a life in the past 25 years since I got into recovery that I couldn't have dreamed of. More is on the way. Ho long will this last? Who knows. No one does. So in this week that is talking about acceptance, this is one I have accepted up to this point. And it is the source of gratitude.

No, this isn't new. My generation is not the first to age. But maybe we can be the first where a lot of us are in a better position to enjoy it longer.

(By the way: Some estimate that about 13% of the original Baby-boomers have already died. That means there are still 87% of us alive. --Link

Another interesting point, there are probably MORE people of Baby-Boomer age alive in the US today than were born in that era thanks to immigration. )

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