Never permit yourself to linger too long in the land of denial. Like it or not, unless something unexpected takes us out beforehand, we’re going to get old. And if we’re among the lucky ones, we’ll enjoy a physically comfortable quality of life.
I bring this up because this past week, as I was looking around me, I came to a startling realization: practically my entire circle of longtime friends is now comprised of OLD people.
About the middle of last week, I was stopped at the traffic light located at the foot of Lea Boulevard and Matson Run. My neighbor, Senator Tom Carper, had just completed one of his “runs” and was trying to get across Lea Boulevard to his home.
SHOCKING! Gone was the tall, upright and fit-looking dude who used to be able to run for miles without even looking tired. In his place was a frail looking, somewhat hunched over and out of breath old-looking man.
We nodded to each other as the traffic signal gave him a WALK sign. And walk is exactly what he did . . . slowly, VERY slow, indeed.
The weekend before that, I ran into an old drinking buddy (beer only). The two of us used to be able to polish off a couple of six-packs each while waiting for the charcoal to get hot enough to cook the hamburgers.
Those days are over. He’s seventy-one now, and he can barely walk—and that’s with a cane. His back is completely shot. The best he can do now is nurse a 12-oz can of Diet Coke. And even then, he has to hit the bathroom a couple of times.
And just yesterday, my next door neighbor was bemoaning the fact that he’s got a doctor’s appointment next Thursday to find out why he’s going to the bathroom so often.
Even though I’m not a medical doctor, I suspect that it’s diabetes. I say this with reasonable confidence because of his weight and crappy diet, I’m overweight, but without a doubt, he’s—at a minimum—one and a half of me.
Oh, did I mention that he’s eighty-eight years old and drinks water instead of a beer or soft drink only as a last resort?
I’m no spring chicken, either. Nor do I pay a lot of attention to dietary concerns. I don’t go overboard most of the time, but even when I do, I don’t lose any sleep over it.
At my age, if I drank two six-packs of beer waiting for the charcoal to get hot enough to cook the hamburgers, I’d be passed out next to the grill, and I’d probably need a couple of days of bed-rest to fully recover.
Anyway, my life expectancy at birth (1942) was about 68-years. But calculating life expectancy is a tricky business—click here to see how tricky it is.
But I’ve already lived 73-years. As such, my life expectancy has increased. According to the above link, it’s hovering around 86-years. However, I doubt that I’ll see 86-years.
On the other hand, I’m not sweating it, either. When I turned 60-years old, I adopted the Jack Nicholson philosophy of male aging. For all you old men, here it is in a nutshell.
First, NEVER pass up an opportunity to use the bathroom BEFORE going ANYWHERE outside your home!
Second, NEVER waste an erection!
And third, no matter what, NEVER trust a fart!