Yesterday, June 23rd was my birthday. Yea for me! For most, this number, the double-nickel, the Nixon speed limit, likely doesn't mean anything. It is not some monumental number that lurks in the hearts of most as we slide down the slippery slope to the rushing of the fatal waters below.
I have never fought the numbers as I have grown older. They have simply never seemed all that important to me. I never cringed at '30'. I never quaked at '40', and the first senior citizen number of '50' had no impact on me emotionally. While this birthday seems to have a similar effect with little impact, it is giving me pause to reflect on the numbers of age for a minute or two.
Traditionally, the next milestone in birthdays is '60'. From '50', I am now officially half way there. There isn't a turn around sign ahead. It's full-bore go baby. As I remember my life history, my father quit smoking at '55' after many years. It was not long after that he had heart surgery. Okay, that one is a life-stopper to think about although he did live to the age of '75'. I believe he would have lived longer had there been the kind of attention to life issues we have now, way back then. It was simply a different era when talking about health and weight and all the other issues we face as we grow older. It's not simply 'in the genes' as his brother is still living at the age of '90'.
Perhaps '55' gives me pause as it is on the signage for the senior discounts. Now, I'm all about saving money but I don't even think of myself as even '50'. In my head, I 'm still somewhere about '43' or '44'. Perhaps it is my outlook; perhaps it is simply I don't feel my age. I can still do everything physically I could do back then without lingering aches and pains that is supposed to accompany this age bracket.
Chronologically for me, '55' seems to be some sort of crest, or tipping point where I have to face the facts that I am perhaps slightly past a middle-aged person's prime number. In the past, middle age was always ten years older than wherever I was. I don't think I can say that any longer.
Oh well, at least I can get a senior discount at the restaurants. I guess there's a bright side after all to turning the big '50+5'.