April 8, 2014

So the other day I’m cruising down the US 60 heading east after having done all my appointed chores for a Sunday. On that day I had already:

1. Hit the hardware store for 9V batteries and teflon tape needed to get my Contech CRO101 Scarecrow motion-activated cat-repellent device operational
2. Set up said Contech CRO101 motion-activated cat-repellent device only to discover a leak in my hose hardware
3. Visited Lowe’s to replace my hose and pick up a large adjustable wrench and a new pair of pliers
4. Hit the supermarket to pick up some garlic and Marsala wine for that night’s chicken dish
5. Drove over to Phoenix to feed my sister-in-law’s rabbits

…and I still had left the following tasks on my to-do list:

1. Fill up the car so Tracey would have a full tank to start the work week
2. Replace the hose out back and hook up to the Contech CRO101 Scarecrow motion-activated cat repellent device
3. Test the Contech CRO101 Scarecrow motion-activated cat-repellent device
4. Rake and sift the sand box area to remove all cat poops and sand from the area the cat had been using as its personal litter box
5. Skim the pool
6. Take a shower
7. Make dinner
8. Clean the rabbit areas

The day before I had spent the majority of the day working with our home computer guy to begin restoring our computer from a system crash caused by a virus, and in doing so had wrenched my neck so I couldn’t turn my head to my right. My tennis elbow was really sparking after playing golf on Friday, and my hands were still achy after hitting balls both Wednesday and Friday, so my first plan of action on getting home was to gulp a couple of Tylenols.

(Little did I know it, but I would be awakened the following morning at 4:45 AM by a client in Liverpool, England seeking assistance with a problem with some software they were trying to install.)

I really didn’t feel like listening to music, so I was just driving with the windows down and feeling the warm air flowing through the car. When all of a sudden, it occurred to me that in six months I’ll turn 59 and begin my sixth decade of existence on this floating ball of rock, heading towards sixty with a bullet.

Sixty. The big 6-0.

I’m sorry, but to me sixty is old. When you’re in your fifties, everything is cool – supposedly, by that time you’ve worked out all of the crap in your life and are able to almost begin it anew. Less expectations. More control over your life. More doing what you want to do instead of living up to what everyone else is expecting you to do and live. Like the saying goes, “life begins at 50”.

Well then, what about 60? If life begins at 50, what is it doing at 60? I remembered my old friend from New Orleans, Rock (may he rest in peace) calling me one day and telling me that once you get past 55, a good er, bathroom session (this is a family blog) is better than good sex. Especially since now that I don’t have a prostate I know what he means.

And I started to think about how noisy my life is, how much everything seems to be a big deal. Between never-ending crises and expectations at work and stuff at home it seems like I’m always going at 100 miles an hour from waking up to going to bed, checking off items on my daily to-do list as I go. And I find myself not liking any of it very much. It’s not the work – I like my work – and it’s not the stuff I do around the house – that doesn’t bother me, either. I guess it’s just that between the debt we’re carrying and the stuff that has to be done because if I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done anyways, I’m starting to feel pretty run down. I’m only able to find a little peace when I take my afternoon walks, or have a bucket of balls to hit in front of me at the driving range or being out on a golf course trying to play bogey golf and not succeeding, or enjoying a late-night nitecap on the patio after Tracey has gone to bed.

And it was at that point I decided it’s time to start thinking about simplifying things. To not try and be everything to everyone. To try and cut back on my obligations where I can truly set some time aside to not do anything, even if it runs against my Type A personality. I don’t know if it’s possible, but it’s something I know I need to start at least thinking about. It’s time to start trying to achieve some balance in my life and recognize the fact that there will come a time when I’m going to have to slow down at least a little bit, whether I like it or not.

Look, I’m well aware I’m hardly unique when it comes to contemplating the whole aging thing, but still one can’t live one’s life in denial.

I’m not sure how and when that’s going to happen, but it’s sure something I know I need to start thinking about, because next year I’ll be turning 60 and I realize I just can’t continue to run at this speed anymore.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:50 | Comments (2)
  1. Having just turned 66, I feel no differently than at 56. I am a list/organized kind of person. I set priorities and don’t stop until they are completed. However, after 3 months of not being able to do anything as a result of a broken foot, sprained other ankle and torn tendon and bruised hip bone on sprained ankle appendage……I learned that not everything is THAT important nor HAS to be done today. It was an exercise in patience and letting go of “have to’s” Slower is better and things still get done.
    And for the record, SIXTY is NOT old.

    Comment by jana — April 8, 2014 @ 4:46 am

  2. OK, if you say so! Thanks for your wisdom. As usual, very much appreciated.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — April 8, 2014 @ 9:58 pm

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