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Traveling at 70...mph?

70 MPH – Faster than the speed of light.

Anyone who has driven down a country road at 30 or 40, then entered the acceleration lane of a modern Interstate, pushing their vehicle to 70 to keep up with the flow of traffic knows that things start happening very fast. I am one who abhors the far right lane known as the “slow lane” for the one to the left, all the way to the left, the “fast lane.” Similarly when you are only five or even ten years old, Christmas takes so long to come around, while it seems to us Seniors that it comes earlier and earlier every year, this year before Halloween even. Years fold into each other, “Was that last year or two years ago? That was FIVE years ago? How time flies.” Rocket like even. With days and weeks and months…years speeding by in a blur.

I turned 70 on Thanksgiving. November 28, 2019. I don’t FEEL 70, well on SOME days maybe, but I still walk at a brisk pace, I still climb to the top of fully extended ladders, paint brush in one hand, pail of paint in the other, I still work hard, lifting, carrying, raking, sawing, shoveling, all those things that require effort. I insist that working hard is what keeps one strong, keeps one fit, keeps one alive.

At my age I realize, for the first time, that I will die before I do a lot of things I thought I had more time for. I can’t wait for “someday” or “one day” or “when I have time” day, I have to plan, and go NOW. A friend sent me a list of things to do when you are, “Between 65 and death.” A harsh reality, but one just the same. That is the period of time we are in, the phase of life. No one gets younger, despite the marvels of modern medicine including hair dyes and face lifts and face creams that will miraculously erase those satchels under your blurry eyes. I am told I don’t “Look 70” which makes me feel good, and keeps my promise to myself that I don’t care how OLD I am as long as I LOOK younger than I am. Given the choice to: a) Look great and feel terrible inside, or b) Feel great, but look like a pile of warm shit, I chose “a” and somehow still feel pretty good for an old man.

We are getting older… ALL OF US. Some have plenty of time to forget about the “Golden Years” ahead in some distant future when you may have the time and money you lacked in your 20’s and 30’s, but lack the drive and initiative, not to mention the energy, and strength and stamina you once had. Sometimes it’s just nice to stay home with your flannel jammies and wool socks, a fire casting its warmth and comforting glow about the room as you watch the world go by on a flat screen with surround sound. Travel, leaving the comfort of your home, familiar surroundings and your own bed, maybe not all it’s cracked up to be. Being away fine for a few weeks, but always good to come HOME. Sweet home.

So…to conclude this rather depressing tome, live each day as it were your last? Or like an old man once said, “I live every day as though I am going to live forever.” The truth lying somewhere in between. After all, I am only 70! Not 80 or 90. OMG now that’s REALLY old. Live for today, but fill each day as though you have places to go, people to meet, things to do…and miles to go before your sleep. FLM


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