A recent birthday brought me to within shouting distance of 70. My thoughts associated with this unexpected but appreciated event are focused on the great energy and confidence I'm feeling about my life. I'm fine tuning it and making adjustments along the way to ensure the joy continues. Sensum Boomerum Vita is Latin, I hope, for an awareness of where I am as a boomer in life's continuum.
I'm taking inventory of what still works, and what doesn't. Thankfully I haven't experienced any health issues that limit my physically active life. Maybe that's because I exercised regularly or maybe I'm just lucky. It's hard to know with any certainty. I'd list my body on eBay as used, but well maintained per the owner's manual. It's good for another 100,000 miles.
My hairline has retreated some, but I've been noticing that men who stay in shape look youthful and attractive regardless of their hair, so I'm comfortable that a full head of it isn't necessarily the do all end all for looking good. One less aging issue to worry about.
My heart works better now than when I was younger. Not the pump, which still functions fine, but the feelings that flow through it so much more smoothly now. I opened my heart to love late in life, and I owe the courage that required to a special woman who gave me the confidence to trust. I never believed life was meant to be a solo act and having someone to share my joy and pain with is sweet and comforting. While it's true that relationships are work, this one feels well worth the effort.
On the downside, maintaining a youthful fitness level requires more persistence than it did decades ago, so I've had to make it a daily discipline. If I back off I notice a decline in energy, so I'm grateful for muscle memory when I start up again. I'd like to thank Dr. Stewart Adams for discovering Ibuprofen, which takes the sting out of those restarts.
I've given up riding motorcycles because as B. B. King puts it, The Thrill Is Gone. I rode sport bikes like my hair was on fire for 30 years, but I just don't have the passion for leaning over and dragging my knees through the curves at breakneck speed any more. The memory of riding through Death Valley, California at 130 mph with the sun rising behind me while four, Air Force fighter jets swooped down and waved their wings at me is one I'll never forget, but don't feel any need to repeat.
Hiking And Daydreaming
I hike on weekends, preferring the sun and fresh air to the crowded gym, and when I reach the top of a rise and see the panorama that is San Francisco, the bay, and the mountains, I'm thankful my body can still deliver. I feel most alive when pushing its limits. After the hike I relish lying in the sun and just daydreaming for a while. Daydreaming is a much maligned activity, but it's been the genesis of everything special I've ever accomplished. Daydreaming allows my unconscious mind to take flight, soar, and land softly in a creative place my focused mind simply can't.
I'm grateful I still function well sexually. I've become more of a slow dancer than a steam-driven piston, and it's this sweet waltz that has redefined lovemaking in my relationship. The good news is that the more my partner and I deepen our emotional intimacy the longer my sexual warranty seems to get extended.
Public Service Announcement
I apologize in advance for this but I want to share the inner glow that, years of tutoring inner city, elementary school kids has given me. These boys and girls are mostly smart and eager to learn, and their stories are compelling. I urge boomers to get involved in a local after school program to help level the educational playing field. You have a lot to offer, and you'll appreciate the new warm spot that lives in your heart. Thanks for listening.
Who's That Guy?
I'm not looking in the mirror as often as I used to because the guy staring back sometimes startles me. I'm not sure I'll ever become comfortable with the older version of the young man I still see in my mind's eye. Of course there's lots more I'm grateful for on my birthday; my son and grandson, my devoted friends, my third career as an author and writer, and Duke, my Golden Retriever companion for a dozen years.
I admit to feeling somewhat surprised by how well most of my life has turned out, but more importantly, I'm totally stoked about what's still to come. I'll remain young at heart regardless of my age because I'm constantly seeking new experiences and fresh ideas. And I'm always open to change because altering the course and direction of my life has been consistently rewarding, provided unique opportunities, and led me to new and amazing adventures. Lastly, I appreciate the powerful role luck has played in my life, and I'll keep reminding myself to stand in its path.
Wishing every Huff/Post 50 reader a Happy Birthday on his or hers.