I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming that comes when you finish the life of the emotions and of personal relations; and suddenly find – at the age of fifty, say – that a whole new life has opened before you, filled with things you can think about, study, or read about…It is as if a fresh sap of ideas and thoughts was rising in you. – Agatha Christie
What a week, two age milestones at once: my 65th birthday and Medicare! While eligible for senior movie tickets for several years, that just seemed more like a friendly discount (from outrageous prices) than actually being a “Senior.” I have stayed away from Senior classes at the local park community center because, well, the group didn’t feel like the right fit.
So what does 65 feel like? It’s hard to improve on Agatha Christie; a whole new life has opened up, especially in the last 10 years. So 65 doesn’t feel much different than 55. And from talking to friends, it seems we really don’t feel much different than we did at 35. Sure, we are all a bit slower and have more aches and pains. But other than giving up skiing, most of us are doing the same things we have always done and we are busier than ever. Only our priorities have changed, mostly because we are no longer raising children, and maybe because we’re a bit wiser.
Still, how could our children be in their 30’s (and 40s)? When and how did that happen? Referencing the great Jack Benny, when I turned 39, my mother said she didn’t understand how I was the same age that she was. How could our children not understand that joke? Hell, how could they not know who Jack Benny was??
The funny thing is, that when we think about our parents and grandparents at 65, we think of someone who looks much older and frailer. But in looking through old family photos, that was true for some, but not for others; for the latter group it was just the hairstyles and hair color that made them look older. Most of them were still working, traveling and enjoying life at 65. Revised “wisdom” says that they definitely were not “old.”
Newly-gained wisdom also finally accepts the adage that it’s about health, not age. Fortunately for me, even with my Parkinson’s, I don’t feel a lot different than I did 30 years ago. Yes, there are days that seem like every walking surface is molasses. But most of the days are busy and full, just going from one thing to the next with no difficulty (albeit perhaps more slowly). And if I get tired, I just take a short nap to refresh. No excuses necessary. Or maybe just some more new-gained wisdom?
Some of the positives about turning 65:
- No deductibles with Medicare.
- Senior discounts on all kinds of things (other than movies), including public transportation
- Sitting in seats reserved for seniors and persons with disabilities without feeling guilty 🙂
- Doing stupid things that embarrass the kids — just because we can get away with it
- Doing ONLY the things we want to do, and pretty much ONLY when we want to do them.
- Traveling outside the the school vacation calendar, so we travel when the weather isn’t so hot, and the crowds are smaller. (Okay, this has been true for a while now and grandkids may soon change that to some degree, but we’re looking for positives, right?)
- If we don’t feel like cooking dinner, we go out. Or order in. (That has been true for a while, too). And we are NOT yet going after early bird specials, so we still have that to look forward to.
My friends have all welcomed me into the Medicare Generation, singing its praises. I think I am going to like it. 😎