I just read an article that tells me I am officially old. Here’s the announcement:
Not too long ago, a study revealed that most people define old age as 68. But a study that came out this week revealed a vastly different take: that old age really doesn’t begin until 80.
I turned 80 a couple of months ago, so – according to the latest research – I am definitely old. How does it feel?
To tell the truth, I feel better today than I did at 79. Back then, I spent nine days in the hospital after a procedure to insert three stents in my heart. I was allergic to the dye they used and one thing led to another. My kidneys failed, my heart’s accelerator got stuck one night … For awhile, things didn’t look so good.
But that’s all over now.
I just came back from the dermatologist after a melanoma scare. Turns out all I had was a squamous cell carcinoma on my arm. And I’ve had that before. They cut the pesky thing out and bandaged me up. Now here I am – as good as new.
And I feel good. Frisky in fact. I could go dancing (and romancing?) tonight if Sandra is in the mood.
In some ways, I feel better than I did at 40. Turning 80 wasn’t the shock that turning 40 was. I sat in the office at Global TV’s Braden Beat that day and stared into space for hours. How could I be 40? Forty was old.
And 50. What a shock that was! I played golf at Florida’s beautiful Innisbrook resort that day and got into a fight with a pal named Ralph Johnson because I said I felt old and his girlfriend and I were born the same day. Yes, a fist fight. I gave him a peach of a black eye – and felt like a fool the next day when I saw him wearing dark glasses.
By 60, I was getting used to old age and I didn’t feel so ancient. Seventy was a landmark, though. My dad died at 70 and he used to say that the “days of a man are threescore and ten.” I guess that’s not true for all of us.
Seventy is long gone now, and I’m still standing. And walking. Without a cane, even.
My memory is not what it was, of course. There are the usual aches and pains. And I squint more than I used to. (I’m sure it’s those darned glasses. I’ll have to talk to the eye doctor when I go for my checkup next Tuesday.)
I’ve lost a lot of distance on my drives but I still play golf twice a week. I still go shopping for groceries and putter about in the garden. And I still perk up when a comely chick saunters by (just kidding, Sandra, just kidding!).
All in all, I feel pretty sturdy. I am surprised when I see that balding old coot staring back at me from the mirror.
Now, if I can just extricate myself from this chair, I’ll head over to the bedroom and watch the college golf championships on TV. All this typing has worn me out.