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Sixty

I couldn’t think of a better title.  Sixty.  SIXTY.

I’ve been telling everyone that I “don’t feel like I’m sixty”.  I don’t feel my age.  But maybe I really DO feel like sixty, and sixty just doesn’t feel like I expected it to feel.  Or like I think other people expect it to feel.  Or… whatever.

Last night I didn’t sleep very well.  I was afraid.  I’m still not quite sure of what.  Of sixty?  Did you know that sixty is the new forty?  Damned if I know what that means.

Tonight, as I’m nearing the end of my birthday, I feel more at peace.  My lovely wife is sleeping soundly after a day filled with back pain.  Nobody knows how incredibly brave she is.  Joseph is also in pain – his back has suddenly decided to hurt like Hell for no apparent reason.  And I’m feeling pretty good.  I’m going to feel even better after I take a brief break to pour myself a glass of Scotch.  BRB.

Decisions can stop your momentum.  Paralysis by analysis – I like that one!  Neat or rocks?  Rocks – just not too many rocks.  Perfect.

Wendy and I chatted about taking a real vacation this fall.  One at a real hotel (one where the name does not contain the number “6”) with real privacy (no kids) and really far away (you can’t drive there).  “Where?” is the question and I think maybe “Puerto Rico” is the answer.

Joe and I dined together tonight – just the two of us as his mom slept.  Fillets, my garlic mashed potatoes and sweet corn on the cob.  Mr. Weber and I nailed the fillets tonight.  A perfect 135 and just enough of a crunch so you know these didn’t come out of the oven.  We sat and talked and ate, and I got to thinking about my first years as step-dad… it’s not a position I recommend.  Most of the time it’s thankless and any day without a disaster is truly a win – but today was a good day as have been many lately.  Is he growing up or am I?

Joe asked about the team in Minneapolis because they sent my a funny greeting card.  If the house had sold I’d be blogging from a condo in Minneapolis tonight, and the web cam would be looking out over the city lights.  “Sliding Doors” was the movie that had to be written for me.

What’s a birthday without presents?  Mine is parked in the garage and I still can’t quite believe it.  As one of my favorite colleagues said (actually, it was his wife who said it first), “It’s a big boy car”.  Yeah, it is.  And it’s beautiful.  Sixty and I still love cars.  Always did, as far back as I can remember.  Wendy doesn’t care about cars at all… until I try to borrow her 2-seater.  Oh yeah, she’s into cars as much as I am.  The only difference is that I admit it.

Scared.  Scared of what?  Dieing?  Retiring?  Getting sick?  Alzheimer’s?  Carlos Zambrano?  All of the above?  I don’t know, or if I do know it’s so repressed that I don’t.  My current theory (after nearly 24 hours) is that it doesn’t matter because it will pass.  Never underestimate the power of denial.  Introspection is fine – in small doses.  I’ve been thinking of my dad today, as I did not too long ago on Father’s Day.  I can see him deep in his living-room chair, at the dinner table with his black muddy coffee, and on the golf course.  He was happiest on the golf course.  If I try very hard I can remember when he was sixty – I had just started college.  Those are good father-son memories mostly, unlike the ones from later on.  Seventy was not kind to him.

Mom at sixty was Mom at forty, or fifty, or seventy.  I guess she began to age some at eighty.  At 100 she finally looked her age.  One hundred.  Let’s not even go there.

In two hours and 46 minutes my sixtieth birthday will be over.  It feels, well, weird.  I told Wendy that earlier today.  It feels weird.  Amazing, my grasp of the English language.  “Weird” seems to be the best I can do.  I’ve got ten years to come up with a better word for seventy.  That was supposed to be funny.  Seventy?  No joke ever had the punch line, “Seventy”.

Shouldn’t I be giving advice or something?  Helping those younger than I prepare for the nearly-inevitable arrival of their sixtieth birthday?  Truth is that I’d love to.  I just don’t have a damned thing to add.  So here’s to you on the occasion of your sixtieth birthday, whenever that may be or have been:  Happy Birthday.

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