Friday, June 13, 2014

Climbing the hill to 60

I've never been too obsessed with age or worried much about birthdays but turning 60 has been a bit jarring to me.  I hate to admit it, but 60 sounds a little bit "old."  I don't feel old, and there's nothing wrong with being old, but when I say I am turning 60, it just feels shocking! I don't know where the years have gone, as cliche as that sounds.  I know I have daughters in their 30s and 6 grandkids, with two more on the way, but it doesn't seem possible that I have been on this Earth for 60 years.

Even though I hope to live a whole lot longer, turning this age certainly does make me think more about my mortality and that of my loved ones. With Rich's recent medical adventures (he's fine now, thankfully), friends having surgeries, medical issues, and taking care of ailing parents, plus the sudden death of someone we knew, there are a whole lot of thoughts to ponder.  Rich and I were talking about the fact that most people do not know which day is the last day of  life.  You don't usually get up in the morning and realize that this is it. I'm going to wash the dishes and then collapse on the floor.  I'm going to go to bed and never wake up. I'm going to get in my car and get killed in an accident.  And yet it is very hard to live each day as if it's the last. We get so caught up in the daily routine that we don't stop to appreciate all of the people in our lives and all of the experiences we could have if we got up from the computer or the TV or didn't spend so much time at work or whatever.  I'm definitely not a workaholic but I am a time-waster, which seems ironic when I feel that I am running out of time!

Hiking up Bunker Hill a few nights ago
 Rich asked me how I felt turning 60 and I said it's a little bit scary.  He assures me it's just a day, just a number and everything is going to be great, we have lots of years still ahead of us to do everything we want to do.  I want to feel that confidence but I do have some fear in me that maybe it won't turn out that way.  Perhaps that's because my father died at the very young age of 42 and never got to do the fun things he wanted to do in retirement.  He didn't have any grand plans, just the simple idea that he wanted to buy an RV and travel around the country visiting his old Air Force buddies.  When he had cancer, he was still going out looking at RVs.  To this day, it makes me sad that he never got to do that small thing that would have made him happy.  On the other hand, my mom is still going strong at 83 and her mom lived well and independently into her early 90s so I count on the idea that I have tough genes and longevity on my side.  :)

Because we don't need a thing and not everyone is so fortunate, we are asking family and friends to donate to a needy classroom on DonorsChoose instead of doing something for our birthdays (Rich's is the 21st).  I posted a link on Facebook about two weeks ago and I have been so honored and touched by those who have chosen to donate. To date, we've raised over $2600 for 24 classrooms, supporting over 900 students!  It has really renewed my faith in humanity that people have joined in this effort.  THANKS to my mom, Betty, my daughters and sons in law Sarah and Miles and Bonnie and David, cousins Kris and Susan, high school friends Anna and Hughe, Texas friends Karen and Casey, Alaska friends Tammy, Melanie, Sonia, Steve, Lynn and Lauren, Texas/Mississippi friend Susan, our Australian cruise friends Linda and Martin, Mary, Kandy, and Anne, and four anonymous donors whose names we know but we will respect their wish for privacy.  You are all amazingly wonderful humans and I love each and every one of you!

If you'd like to get in on the fun, click here for the link to Rich and Jane's Online Birthday Give-Back Bash on DonorsChoose.  There are several classrooms on our list still needing help.  One of my favorites only has one day left to meet its goal. :(   The teacher is trying to purchase graphic novels about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi to engage some of her male students in reading.  I would love to see this project get finished, so if you are inclined, click here for the link.  And thanks!

While I am pondering the age of 60, our sweet grandson  Luke, is turning 2! Wishing the happiest of days to my little birthday buddy!  We love and miss you lots and can't wait to see you this summer!

I do kinda like it that my birthday is on Friday the 13th this year, AND it's a full moon, also called the Honey Moon.  The last time we had a full moon on a Friday the 13th in June was in 1919 and the next time it will all come together in June will be in 2098.  Hmmm, guess I will probably not be around for that one.  :)

Okay, friends, get out there and live your lives. Time's a-wastin'.


Suzassippi said...

I always think of the year your birthday fell on a Friday 13th and you wanted a happy triskaidekaphobia party. I had never heard that word, and it sounds so cool. :)

Happy birthday!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am an old friend of Rich's from McGuire AFB and NBC High School. If possible, please forward my work email address to him and ask him to contact me. My name is Doug and my email address is Congrats on reaching 60 and remember to never begrudge growing old; it is a privilege denied to many.