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Turning 55 sure beats the alternativePosted Friday, April 25, 2008, at 3:10 PM
Today, I pass another personal milestone.
I thought about blowing out way too many blazing candles on my birthday cake, but then realized I don't eat cake so that would be rather uneventful.
I quietly turn 55 on April 25.
I was born in 1953 -- the year an old soldier named Dwight Eisenhower became president of the United States -- becoming the first Republican to live in the White House in 20 years.
It was the year that color television came into U.S. homes for the first time.
I am now half of 100 years old plus five years -- that's half a century plus five years.
Now, I don't feel so young.
There are many ways to measure time.
There's one measure that we all agree is that we're all very rapidly becoming history as the clock ticks away.
I may not stand as erect anymore, or walk as fast as I once could.
And really as I look into the mirror, it is one of the saddest things that life does bare, when it all turns white or you have no hair.
Reality is here.
I am reminded that the days between Christmas and my birthday used to take forever when I was a small child. Now, the days move quickly.
Life is like one of those long trips and you remember your youngsters asking you nearly every mile "Are we there yet?"
Do children experience time in slow motion, or as adults are we much more unaware of every precious moment of every single day that we let time slip by?
A long time ago I heard somewhere that we all have one birthday that is particularly hard to take, but that after that one birthday, all the rest of them are pretty easy to get through.
To me 55 is no "biggie" -- just another day. It's all just numbers. What matters is how you are living.
Anyway, if you think about it -- to some people 55 sounds really, really old while to other people 55 sounds young.
If you are younger today you can hope to live long enough to feel old.
If you are already past the age of 55 then you can better understand where I'm coming from.
Perspective becomes important when you are 55.
At the age of 55, I know that is young and not a near-death experience.
At the age of 55, I realize that worrying just takes away my precious time because it doesn't change anything.
At the age of 55, I realize that my weaknesses gave me my strengths.
At the age of 55, I can "smell the roses" and see the distant horizon clearer than when I was in my 20s.
At the age of 55, I understand knowledge is power. We're never too old to learn.
At the age of 55, I believe stronger than ever that beauty comes from within … deep within those battered, worn, partially repaired and replaced body parts in my case.
At the age of 55, I realize that turning 40 was actually pretty darn young.
At the age of 55, I am now that "old guy" that I talked about as a smart-mouthed teen.
At the age of 55, I can use the excuse that I am tired and get away with it.
At the age of 55, if I forget something, I blame it on my age.
At the age of 55, if I make mistakes, I blame it on my age.
At the age of 55, I realize that I am considered a "youngin" by those older than I am.
At the age of 55, the many lines and wrinkles on my face and body can be attributed in part to war wounds of bringing up the kids.
Now bring on the grandbabies!
At the age of 55, I have the option in many companies and government agencies to retire from working if I chose. Not so with this company and I wouldn't want to call it quits yet anyway. I love what I do.
At the age of 55, I understand that "life is a journey," so I'm going to buckle up and enjoy the ride, despite the many peaks and valleys.
At the age of 55, I know there are things more meaningful than money.
At the age of 55, I can now enjoy some of those discounts like 10 percent off at all my favorite eating-places. I wonder if the gasoline stations would help out us poor seniors out with a few pennies off at the pump? I do still remember the days of 26 cents per gallon gasoline. Now, those were the good old days.
At the age of 55, I know without a doubt there is a higher God controlling my destiny each day. Now all I have to do is learn to listen to him and trust in the wise guidance he gives to me.
Another year is notched in my life belt.
I am more than thankful for the many blessings that have been brought my way and look forward to many more years -- enjoying my family, my friends and chronicling the news for our Greene County readers.
Living sure beats the alternative, wouldn't you agree?
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