One of my granddaughters turned 9 on Tuesday. Nine. How can that be? As we were chatting with her (after our traditionally awful Happy Birthday rendition) I (not so subtly) reminded her that MY birthday was the next day.
“How old do you think I’ll be?” I asked.
Being the wise 9 year old that she is, she hemmed and hawed and finally came up with a 50 something number. When I said that I was turning 65, her eyes grew wide in astonishment. I don’t think it was so much that I looked so great for 65, but rather that 65 was so OLD.
I’m pretty sure when I was 9, 65 WAS old. And it was still pretty old when I was 20. By the time I turned 40 – well, my mom was 65 by then and she was was still playing tennis as often as she could find a partner, was involved in several musical groups (she was a cellist), and was certainly not ‘old’ by any standard. In my 50’s, the big 6-5 still seemed pretty far away. But many of my friends had already crossed the threshold, and they seemed ok about it all! Here are some random thoughts about turning 65 in my world –
- When we started out in SOWERs, we were on the young side of the usual demographic. (In fact, some referred to us as the Youth Group!) So in a way, we’ve finally caught-up with our co-workers! Yea!
- We both have now successfully navigated signing up for Medicare. If you’re not there yet – just wait. It’s quite a maze and there is a certain sense of accomplishment when you finally figure out A-B-C-D, and all the supplemental plans also referred to with letters just to keep you confused.
- The government is actually sending us money. We’ve been enjoying this ‘refund’ of our many years of payroll deductions for a couple of years, but crossing into the 65 Club made it seem more official.
- For the first time since we’ve been on the road, we are actually with family for my birthday. This has been a goofy week of coughs and stomach upsets at the house, and a minor out-patient procedure for Gary at our place, so I can’t actually say that we’ve spent tons of time WITH the family this week, but still and all, just being close has been a joy.
- My tradition of celebrating all month has also been playing out well! We had a great gathering of Waco friends, along with the surprise appearance of some dear SOWER friends, last weekend.
Gary & I celebrated the actual day with a yummy lunch at In-n-Out and dinner at a steak house and the kids have promised a dinner out with them when everyone is healthy and home from work at a reasonable time. Plus there’s that Thanksgiving bash later in the month – yes, I claim that too!
- All in all – 65 seems to be working out just fine. My weight is down some (as is Gary’s!), my hair is short and our health is good. We have a beautiful family that loves us and supports us in this craziness we call ‘retirement’, and we’ve made so many wonderful friends from around the country that we continue marvel at God’s goodness to us. I ride around the country in our 300 sq. ft. home with this hunk of a driver and we find purpose in our lives by serving others. I thank God daily for these blessings and please don’t think for a minute that we take these things for granted.
Several years ago I shared a “Birthday Prayer” that, as the years go by, seems more and more apropos. And so I share it again today, as it is still my prayer –
Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.
Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.
Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.
Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.
I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.
Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.
Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.
(Borrowed from Bob Hostetler’s One Prayer a Day blog.)
Thanks for stopping by! Oh – and Happy (blogging) Birthday to our sweet Maddie!