Well, it happened again! Another year snuck up on me and made me a year older . . . which means I broke my personal record for longevity one more time. I guess I should worry if this every stops happening because it will probably mean that I am probably six feet under. But not today . . . today I celebrate another birthday.
Way back in the dark ages when I was in college a bunch of us were sitting around, sipping a few (more or less) beers, and talking about how long we thought we would live. Surprisingly most of us thought that we would live at least to our mid-fifties—I thought I would make it to 55. Back then the fifties seemed soooooooooooooo far away . . . today, not so much. In fact, I am hoping that my prediction is way off because next year will be the big 55! It is funny how a couple of beers can make one so stupid in such things as longevity.
So, here I celebrate another birthday . . . for the 54th time. Not much feels different than the past twenty. I have pretty much hit a plateau in the past year and not aged too badly. Didn’t lose too much hair on top of the noggin, but then again, there wasn’t that much too lose to begin with. Didn’t really turn any grayer either. Wrinkles . . . no more than I had before. About the only difference between last year and this year is that I have probably put on a little more weight. This means that there is that much more of me to love. True, there are a few more aches and pains, but nothing that a few beers couldn’t take care. Physically I am hanging in there pretty well, but that is my opinion. Ask someone else and he or she might say otherwise.
Mentally I am hanging in there even though there are moments I wonder . . . but that is one of the nice things about getting older . . . I can blame it on age. Shoot, I am learning that at my age I can blame a lot of things on age. Forgetful . . . blame it on age even though I just probably didn’t think it was something important to remember in the first place. Hard labor . . . nope, too old. Getting old does have its advantages when it comes to stuff one doesn’t want to do.
On this 54th birthday I really have nothing to complain about. I am still alive. I still enjoy the work I do at the university and church. My family is healthy and have all wished me the best on this special day, despite the children already dreaming what nursing home they are going to place me in a few years. I still have friends. The dogs still love me. I can go on hikes, but taking the walker up and down the trail is getting more and more difficult. Beer is still one of my favorite beverages and I have noticed that the longer I live the more choices I have in that department. More people call me “sir” and I like that even though I usually have to look around to see who they are talking to. I am considered wise, and the majority of the time the “ass” part is left off. And, I say this again, I am alive.
The only drawback to today is the birthday cake. It is a total loss. It couldn’t take the heat once the candles were all lit—it melted. As it sat there on the table flaming away, the house alarm went off, and we were able to roast marshmallows. In a way we knocked off two tasks with my birthday—we celebrate another year in my life and had our first bonfire of the summer.
Since the only way to avoid birthdays is by dying, I can’t complain. I just try to make the best of it. Besides, the older I get the better I was . . . and I seem to get better every year. That is the way I see it . . . a legend in my own mind. My record has been broken, let the celebrating begin!