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Today marks my 64th year on this planet.  Since news of one's imminent death 'concentrates the mind wonderfully,' meaning only that my end is closer than my beginning, I've decided that a fine way to spend that concentrated capital of my consciousness, the only kind I've ever had, is to start writing.  Writing with the hope, that is, that others will read it, not just for my own amusement, as I've done since I was five or so.  Some of that was college work, granted; but it didn't feel like I was writing for someone  reading what I wrote.

There was one exception: an exceptional professor who taught 'Western Civ' whose last name was Knapp.  I did sweat to write to impress him.  He was so impressed that he asked what I was doing in that college (that I don't think made even the top 200 in the US).  After showing me his praise that fairly glowed on my paper and a grade off the charts, he told me I should leave school and go write. I stayed out of sheer ignorance, fear, and poverty.  I wasn't completely wrong; but neither was he totally right. Why didn't he help me while I was there?  His reply disheartened me and I never asked him for anything thereafter.  I think I even got a poor grade in the second course I took from the no-longer-perceived by-me as the so exceptional Dr. Knapp.  He'd replied he just stayed there to publish his own work.  Pity the poor, and, increasingly, impoverished students.  Pity the poor, also less well-paid today, professors that value teaching these students.

The power of my earnest quest for an ethical code I could live by ('Teach your children well/Their father's health is slowly going by...You, you along the road/Must have a code that you can live by...') was exceeded only by my inward-turning, contemplative nature-- in The Sixties, no less!  For me it was a glorious time to live with The Beatles and Motown as the soundtrack.  And it was 'the worst of times' surrounded by hundreds of thousands, even millions if we include the Vietnamese, of corpses caused by war.  TV and magazine images that surrounded us daily captured and flung back at us outraged and pleading protests in colleges and in Washington, D. C.  Eventually, 'race riots' set the still-segregated ghettos of our cities ablaze with similar yet different protests on fire with centuries of these fellow Americans' (and former slaves) centuries of pain.

Since this piece has been written without notes nor a conscious idea in my head, just to meet my self-imposed deadline to publlish something by midnight on this birthday, it shouldn't be too surprising that memories arose and not punchy political commentary.  Yet I'm still surprised, but satisfied.  I hope you are, too.

It seems to have taken on a cadence of the 19th century, though.  I did write even more a-mazing (a too-late pun alert; groan.) convoluted sentences in school.  Another teacher, exasperated and having had too-recent visceral experiences in WWII, screamed (on paper) that my 'German Romanticism' must stop!!  I was so ignorant that I felt compelled to research  that comment to find out what was so wrong with German Romanticism, at least then, in his eyes.  After, of course, I found out what the hell German Romanticism actually was.  In books.  At a library. That's how old I am.

Since this is my initial entry in the Daily Kos Diary section, I can't expect anyone to answer the following yet; but for a few days now The Beatles have been concentrated wonderfully in my mind, asking that musical question, 'Will you still love me when I'm 64?'  I hope your future comments will let me know...

Originally posted to elboomerbabe on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:34 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Anyone who has ever loved another deeply (33+ / 0-)

    will tell you the answer is, "Yes."

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:42:46 PM PST

  •  Ah, sweet 64! (21+ / 0-)

    If they loved you at 16, they should love you 4 times at 64! You write well, but a humble suggestion: tell stories, make them up if you have to, but tell stories. "And then what happened" is the best encouragement for a writer.

  •  where's the song? (15+ / 0-)

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:46:45 PM PST

  •  I am 44. It does (21+ / 0-)

    hit me often that I am about half way done. . .maybe less.  Life seemed so endless years before and now it seems to finite.  I hate that.

    •  just you wait . . . (8+ / 0-)

      I've got 25 on you, and . . .

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:11:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, and by the way, you know those "year" things? (17+ / 0-)

      Each one goes by faster. Years now seem to me about the same length as quarters did when I was 1/4 of my current age, which is to say almost 64.

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:22:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "On the back nine of life" (6+ / 0-)
    •  It gets much worse (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayC, aitchdee, theotherside

      It also goes by faster. For example, I am 12 Years older than you are , yet it feels like 44 was just here. Then you remember what it was like waiting for your 16th, 18th, 21st (25 for some) birthdays? Time would go backward.  When I was  20 I thought "10 years to 30? Shit I 'll have everything I need by then". That didn't work out too well. When you think you have all the time in the world , it usually doesn't go too well.   But look at that 10 years and compare it to the 12 year difference or the 8 year difference between the myself and the diarist

       I figured the perception of time passage was a function of the percentage of your age.  Going from 20 to 30 is  half your current life time or 50%. Going from 60-70 is 16.6% of how long you've lived.  The perception of time passage comes from how that time relates to  percentage of time lived

      Going from 44-56 is 25%.

      So imagine how screwy I thought it was at age 25, when some guy who was 55 told me to "be careful" that "there was no time between my age and his." I recall thinking "Does he realize I have't even lived 30 years yet? Total BS"

      Then one day I woke up and I was 55. I recalled getting hit hard at 45 (not 40) with a huge WTF. Then I was hit hard at 55 again. I tried to  figure out what happened.  So, meaningful or not,  I came up with the perception  of time passage;  it accelerates as the target age becomes less and less of a percentage of your current age.

      Most of the men in my family died around 70. That is 14 years from now or 25% of my current life  .  Mortality is no longer an abstract concept. Just as 56 will be here  for you like greased lightening unless something unfortunate comes your way.

      It can be used in other ways too. How long relationships have lasted. Age differences in friends and partners. All kinds of stuff.

      Either way, it all sucks, qualitatively of course.

      •  Had to give you a recommend (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dburn

        if only for the fact that you are 76 and you wrote "WTF".

        I can only hope that when I get to that age in 30 years or so that I can keep up with the lingo and slang of the youth of that time.  I already feel myself slipping behind the twenty somethings and I imagine it's not going to be any easier moving forward.

        Any advice for someone in the early 40's that is living through the malaise of a boring career and normal, if dull, family life (two kids, 1 and 5 years old)?

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 04:38:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well (0+ / 0-)

          I'm only 56 (only- heh) not 76 which is about 5 years past the average life expectancy of the Men in my family and extended family. But, if I do make it to 76 , it will be just like the WTF that I had when I went from 25->56. It will be here  before I know it.

          Ok, so advice?  If you are making money and saving money, then take each day with your kids as a blessing. See one of the reasons I had a big wake up moment is I really went "for it" it terms of career. High risk ventures, 14 hour days and what many here would call ; a pretty cool job.  Time went by so fast that I realized a family was too late. Deep enduring relationships that last many years , is a far better risk to take than some that I have taken. A boring job with benefits is something I never had since I was young,  and really wish I did.

          Not knowing anything about your job other than it's boring, I would guess your probably doing Ok financially. Boredom is good. It makes life seem to last longer. Treasure the days with your kids. They'll be adults before you know it. Get a vicarious thrill when they  meet some of life's good mysteries with that wide-eyed "wow" look in their eyes. You helped with that and should enjoy the heck out of watching them grow up.

            You took a risk in having a family, so a boring job that pays well is real good. Exciting jobs tend to walk a tightrope between financial ecstasy and ruin. It's a great adrenaline rush , but not one you want to have with a family at stake.

           You're doing fine. Make sure you take some time each day to  enjoy the day.

          •  Thanks! (0+ / 0-)

            Reality checks are good and you gave some good perspective.

            Shoot, I'm living in America in the early part of the 21st century, have a wife and kids whom I love, I have a job,  make decent money (probably about the top 20 percent) and everybody in my family is relatively healthy.

            And I'm semi-bitching about being bored and not feeling like I'm making a difference!

            Thanks again for your perspective and allowing me to see a little more clearly.

            We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

            by theotherside on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:41:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  My daughter is 12 today (10+ / 0-)

    Love to hear of birthdays shared.  Keep writing - I'm enjoying a book called Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.  A refreshing take on "Writing and Life".  Peace.

    I'm wide awake...I'm not sleeping...Oh no. Clayton, Evans, Hewson, Mullen.

    by attyV on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:49:37 PM PST

  •  ...and will you still feed me? (13+ / 0-)

    yes, and answered always with a kiss.

    I love nature, science and my dogs.

    by Polly Syllabic on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:51:33 PM PST

  •  From a fellow 64-year-old: (16+ / 0-)

    That Beatles song was/is my husband's and my song.  When he turned 64 we still loved it, and when I did (five years later) it still felt funny, sweet and fresh.  

    Happy birthday to you!  Wishing you many more creative, healthy years!

    "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    by SottoVoce on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:57:27 PM PST

    •  I'll be 64 this year as well. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, LillithMc

      And I'll be happy, healthy, and well-loved. I love being this age (not that I had a choice) and a grandfather, because as a grandfather you can say exactly what's on your mind (which for me is usually on the funny/sarcastic side) and nobody can stop you because you're the oldest one around and because the grandson loves you so much. At this age you're the one who is dishing out the social approval instead of the one always looking for it--and you are now at a liberated point in your life to say what you know everyone else is thinking but not saying. So hurray for 64--and yes, we will still love you when you're 64. As The Beatles also sing: "You say it's your birthday! ... Happy Birthday to you!" And many more Happy Birthdays to come.

      Men must learn now with pity to dispense; For policy sits above conscience. — William Shakespeare, 'Timon of Athens', Act III, Scene II

      by dewtx on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:55:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just did 54. (so what's a decade?) (8+ / 0-)

    Father Time remains undefeated.

    by jwinIL14 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:59:19 PM PST

  •  "-Toda la vida- (8+ / 0-)

    dijo."

    The sweetest ending of any book I've ever read.

    Gabriel Garcia Marques, "El Amor en los Tiempos del Colera".

    The American Indian: Fighting Foreign Terrorism Since 1492.

    by penguins4peace on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:01:04 PM PST

  •  Happy b-day, fellow Aquarius! (4+ / 0-)

    And keep writing.  We've all transcended the occasional bad professor and it looks as though you have as well.

    Enjoy your day!

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:08:41 PM PST

    •  Ditto (0+ / 0-)

      Fellow Aquarian, going to be 62 F3
      Finally beginning to understand
      ALL been directing the flow
      Dem Beans, Goodness, what a handle!
      I think dem beans have been a growin :)
      P.S. Understood :)
      If I could only put the Aquarius logo in this post.
      Wouldn't it be cool if keyboards came with the signs?
      I wonder if I could cuss by signs :)

  •  Welcome (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwren, Mother Shipper, BusyinCA, NonnyO

    and Happy Birthday.

    curious portal - to a world of paintings, lyric-poems, art writing, and graphic and web design

    by asterkitty on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:11:01 PM PST

  •  I'll Be There Shortly. Otherwise, Welcome Aboard. (3+ / 0-)

    Fine introductory diary.

    Speaking of ships, I'll welcome you with an older song you might've caught in your childhood.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:11:24 PM PST

  •  just sent replies to all here; but can't be seeen. (5+ / 0-)

    Duh. Maybe that's difference between replying & commenting....Still the new grrrl on this block.

    --elboomerbabe
    (going offline now. g'night.)

    PS.s:

    warning: I'm not sure when, how often I'll check back &/or write more pieces here in Diary. Not 'too busy' nor 'washing my hair.' :-) Just not on any actual  schedule for writing, yet (if ever).

    Will let any interested know when, if, where I initiate my blog.  Working Title (Now don't steal this brilliance, you all.): SACRED COWS/SCARED COWS.

    Tell me what you think it's about, if you want. I am curious.

    Recommendations for sites for writing welcome.

    NOW i'm really gone.  GONE GIRL. Really.

     

  •  Hey, I'm coming up hard on 66 (11+ / 0-)

    and haven't published a diary here yet!  Although I think about it all the time.  So congratulate yourself and by all means keep writing.  And Happy Birthday!  Boomers forever!

    We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough? --Wendell Berry

    by deeproots on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:23:16 PM PST

  •  Happy Birthday! n/t (5+ / 0-)

    "This is the best bad idea we have by far..." ~Argo

    by MsGrin on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:23:32 PM PST

  •  Paperrrrback writerrrrrr! (13+ / 0-)

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    I've been a Beatles fan since I saw them live in Houston in '65. No, make that since I first heard about them in '64, I think.

    This is not a comment on your writing, you're doing fine.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:26:21 PM PST

    •  It took me a while (8+ / 0-)

      I'm 63, but i wasn't immediately a Beatles fan. I was into Doc Watson, Blind boy Fuller, paul Butterfield. The last 10 years, I've been playing more of their songs, and becoming a fan. The writing, the singing, and the amazing tasteful work of George, who will always be one of my heroes.

      Damn, we were sure lucky, the music of our generation.

      •  I grew up on ragtime, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfbob, OleHippieChick, BusyinCA, mrkvica

        courtesy of my Grandma Lois, who had been playing it pretty much since it was first in fashion. Born in 1896, playing piano in silent movie theaters from the age of about 14 if I remember correctly. Lived until 1995. She also volunteered a lot at Preservation Hall during her French Quarter period from mid 50s to mid 60s or so.

        I found and loved all sorts of other jazz over the years. I particularly remember seeing Dave Brubeck and sons in a relatively small venue in Jackson, Wyoming in the early 80s.

        Saw Chuck Mangione around the same time in Pocatello, ID.

        Moderation in most things.

        by billmosby on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:39:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  After all of the goodbyes (9+ / 0-)

    a hello is nice! Write on.

    Join a writers' gang.

  •  I remember a prof years ago who responded (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, TrueBlueMajority, mrkvica, NonnyO

    to my desire to write (and some small early successes with fiction to fuel the desire) with the comment that since he had never been able to be published, why did I think I had a chance?

    •  So many careless comments, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DawnN, savano66, TrueBlueMajority

      so many dreams crushed.

      Looking back I can see what selfish jerks many of my college profs were but since it was all about me back then, I couldn't see past my own mortification. Now I see that many of them never outgrew adolescence and had zero empathy.

      "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

      by annan on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:37:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Happy Birthday! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob, BusyinCA, AllanTBG, dewtx, NonnyO

    I sure hope we'll hear more from you.

  •  So much younger! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob, savano66, BusyinCA, mrkvica, NonnyO

    I am half your age and I so completely empathize with what you wrote. Sure, I grew up with Kurt Kobain rather than John Lennon, but how much different is the message? The words change along with the accompaniment, but I hear the same tune...

    •  Every generation needs a few idols to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nautical Knots

      hang on to. Nothing makes me sadder than to see someone of my own epoch stuck to listening to music from the '60s or whatever. There is so much talent out there, if you only open your mind to it.

      When we claim to go boldly into the future, and give hope for a better world, we need something to hang on to. Life is short, but ideas live forever.

      Stay strong.

      Happiness makes up in height what it lacks in length. -- Natalie Grant

      by BusyinCA on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:08:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It just a number, enjoy the year ahead. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    outragedinSF, OleHippieChick, NonnyO

    I just went to You Tube to listen to the Beatles song "In My Life".  

    Do not adjust your mind, there is a flaw in reality.

    by Shrew in Shrewsbury on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:39:07 PM PST

    •  Of all The Beatles' songs... (0+ / 0-)

      ... that's my absolute favorite!


      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:39:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll be 62 in a few months (4+ / 0-)

    Please let me know what the view's like from up ahead.

    Sgt Pepper was released on June 1, 1967. Paul McCartney was about to turn 25 at the time; I had just turned 16 (and I presume you were 18 then).

    Either at 25 or at 16, the age of 64 seemed incredibly remote and incredibly old. Granted I've still got two years and four months to go but the sixties (the period of life, not the era) don't seem anything remotely like what I'd imagined them to be back then. I don't know about you but I certainly don't appear to be falling apart.

  •  Will you still need me, will you still feed me (5+ / 0-)

    WHEN I'M 64

    Wow, a huge topic. FYI my parents (both dead now, one at 63, one at 68....both sudden deaths) loved that song and would even sing it to me as a lullaby when they ran out of material. They also loved John Denver (Grandma's feather bed) and Gordon Lightfoot (Sundown). I sing all these songs to my son, and if you could hear me you'd say "Perhaps you should expand your library with some hiphop"......NM I'm channeling my son 58 years from now.  

    Listen to Netroots Radio or to our pods on Stitcher. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

    by yuriwho on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:23:53 AM PST

  •  Happy belated Birthday. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BusyinCA, TrueBlueMajority, dewtx, NonnyO

    You're in good company, there are a lot of people your age or older here and most of us appreciate good writing, especially the non-political. Politics might be the site's raison d'être but, as people, we all need a break from time to time.

    Could be this is our just our modern version of gathering around the fire.

     

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:25:42 AM PST

  •  I hit the big 50 last Friday.... (5+ / 0-)

    It's nice to hear there are still things to look forward too.

  •  64 myself (6+ / 0-)

    I know just how you feel. I did NOT expect to be this "old"; guess I just thought I would be 30 or so forever! My plan is to enjoy being where I am and love and be loved!

  •  The line is actually "Will you still need me. will (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO

    you still feed me when I'm 64?". Seems like a question for the GOP. Though I'm sure the only song they're singing is "Taxman."  This is dedicated to the GOP: (All you need is cash)

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:05:32 AM PST

  •  Nothing prepares us for the journey (6+ / 0-)

    of growing old.  The challenges are unlike anything in the first sixty years.  I never imagined the difficulties, trials and tribulations that would come after sixty-five, mostly related to growing old in the United States and health issues.  Our culture takes its toll on all of us in the US.  It is a shame.

    I love the Beatles - always have.

  •  Some of my cars (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nautical Knots, TheLawnRanger

    1956  Chevy Bel Air
    1963  Corvair Monza Spyder
    1967 Fiat 850 Coupe
    1970 Mustang
    1973 Ford Capri Coupe
    1975 Toyota Corona
    1978 Toyota Celica GT w/ black back window louvres
    1983 Ford Escort
    1985 Mustang

    and more...
    The Celica GT was among my favorites of all time.

    I still love the Beatles.

  •  Need me, feed me - Will you still (3+ / 0-)

    need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64? It's a nicely understated version of "love" :)

    My birthday is right before Christmas, and also I'm a professor, so that is a madly hectic time, and celebrating becomes more a burden than a pleasure - so we normally pick a randomish day in the summer that becomes my birthday. However, on my 64th birthday (trad.) - the actual anniversary of m birth - Mr pixxer presented me, without comment, with a bottle of wine bearing a paper necklace that read "Birthday Greetings." I still have that little necklace, of course :)

    While we're on lyrics, though: Teach Your Children says:

    "Their father's hell did slowly go by" not health. A bit more troublesome to consider...

    We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
    Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

    by pixxer on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:16:28 AM PST

  •  Not for the faint of heart. (4+ / 0-)

    Growing old, that is. I turned 64 four weeks ago. Triple bypass will also focus the mind wonderfully. Love the one you're with, and those all around you too. Happy Birthday. Weeee shall scrimp and saaave...

    Tell me a story of deep delight. - Robert Penn Warren

    by bisleybum on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:18:49 AM PST

  •  And 44 recs. Not bad for a first diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority

    Not bad at all. I look forward to seeing more of your writing, on anything. It doesn't even have to be political.

    Tell me a story of deep delight. - Robert Penn Warren

    by bisleybum on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:24:40 AM PST

  •  Happy Birthday!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, mrkvica, NonnyO

    Four months ago when I turned 64 my baby sister (58 years old) called me up and sang that song to me. I told her that was the best gift ever.

    I look forward to reading more of your diaries.

    "Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall" - President Obama, January 20, 2013

    by savano66 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:52:48 AM PST

  •  I hit 70 last week ... (8+ / 0-)

    ... and it was a scary day.

    But after a visit to doc for my annual warranty renewal which was mostly okay [how the hell do you keep your  cholesterol down to the sub level?] I felt better. Whatever body parts are disintegrating I can deal with.

    And ... I'm ready to hotdog it thru the next 10.  I'm looking around for my last fast car so I can drive like a dingbat thru the back roads and hilly bits of northern Maryland and southern PA; A 2006 JWC Cooper S is my vehicle [coffin?] of choice and about what I can afford.

    My daughter is getting all sorts of nervous and keeps saying I -need- something more my age like a Kia Sorrento. ARGGGGGGHHH!

    So the point of this is .... you have -loads- of time left to use for FUN and that's what keeps you from getting 'old' and falling into senioritis.

    GO PLAY!!!

    Peace.

  •  64 is both a square and a cube. Yay for 64! (6+ / 0-)
  •  70 here (6+ / 0-)

    While for me money is tight (just told my husband of 50 years I am buying a new refrigerator today on credit and he is not happy, but we are eating questionable food) our marriage is better now in many ways.  We are together 24/7.  That would have been impossible even a few years ago, but we need each other.  He plays tennis and I walk the dog every day.  Music fills our home.  Our Grandkids are brilliant, but their Dads have job insecurity.  We did too, but now our small checks arrive on time despite the anger of the GOP.  We are slow, but life seems very sweet.  I really do think he loves me and neither of us want to be the first "to go".

    •  I love your story LillithMc. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LillithMc, NonnyO

      My better half and I decided to retire so that we could get on with our next adventure. So in a few weeks or months we'll sell our commuters house outside Boston and finish moving to our new/old farm in Maine. Now all we need to figure out is how to raise pigs and chickens. Oh, and how to refurbish a 160 year old post and beam barn.  Shouldn't be any tougher than engineering a data network, sewing a new genoa, or tuning our Harleys eh?  But our principal point of agreement - we love each other and we look forward to each new day. Happy for you two.
      ps...I'll be 71 on Ground Hog Day...hoping it's overcast.

      Damn the Regressives, full speed ahead!

      by Nautical Knots on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:35:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I always thought it a supreme irony (0+ / 0-)

    that Paul Mc Cartney's wife divorced him when he was 64.  Prior to that, I thought the song was raising a hypothetical question.

    As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

    by BPARTR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:52:27 PM PST

  •  Yes... and this is beautiful writing: (0+ / 0-)
    Since news of one's imminent death 'concentrates the mind wonderfully,' meaning only that my end is closer than my beginning, I've decided that a fine way to spend that concentrated capital of my consciousness, the only kind I've ever had, is to start writing.
    Like you, "my end is closer than my beginning," (steal warning: I plan to use that phrase in the future).  I'm a first year Baby Boomer, born nine months after VE Day, so I'll be 67 toward the end of next month (I'm a Pisces).

    I took to reading in first grade like a duckling to swimming immediately and became very adept at it right from the get-go.  Both my parents were avid readers, and I - and my younger brother - became avid readers even back in grade school.  I've been plagued with insomnia my whole life, so to while away the hours quietly, I read..., and have arrived in my old age with the largest library of anyone I have ever known, including a few college profs.  (Now I have to figure out who to give it to when I die someday.)

    In my senior year in high school, two dramatic and historical events happened: President Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November 1963, and two and a half months later The Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan on 9 February 1964.  Their music became the background music for my young adult life - still love their precedent-setting and influential music that has been such an inspiration to so many musicians, followed "The Cute One" through Wings and rejoice with his third marriage and hope he's happy now that (mostly) that horrid second wife is out of his life.

    I didn't enter college until age 41, but through various employments, I'd always done composing, writing, editing of reports and letters (even song lyrics at one place).  I knew I was pretty good at writing (had a couple of poems published in the '70s in an obscure journal).  People loved getting my long, descriptive letters.

    I took Norwegian for two years in the early '80s because I knew if I could read one of the Scandinavian languages I could understand the other two, and I had genealogy research to get to at some point, even if I was then working on my New England ancestry at that time.

    I passed the honors English test, assigned an adviser, and was complaining about the PE requirement.  He looked up and down my resumé, said "You have a wide variety of interests, so why don't you join the Honors Program and you won't have to take PE.  All you have to do is keep a 3.2 average or higher."  Done!  I was there to educate my brain, not my body; I'd done enough PE via dance in community and summer theatre (my hobby for a few years) if someone wanted to go through my scrapbooks to figure out how many life-credits I could be given, but the idea of doing PE at the college level was always a turnoff since being a PE teacher wasn't my goal and I detest sports of all kinds past high school.  English major, here I come!  [Oh, I was so brashly confident!]

    Okay..., I surprised myself.  My whole freshman year I kind of ran around baffled that my essays mostly got wonderful compliments and high grades (even A's), and I was on the Dean's List every quarter.  I loved the intellectual challenge!  By my sophomore year, I learned to look at the syllabus to find out what the final was going to be.  If it was an essay, I knew I'd ace the course!  Yes!  I even used several of my own books for class work, essays, and one research paper (no, I didn't read novels exclusively during my insomniac hours, but a lot of histories and biographies, almost all having to do with eras before 24 March 1603, and a few novels that were historical fiction about those same eras).  Most of the profs loved my writing and I even got an A (twice, two different classes!) from an elderly prof who had a reputation for absolutely never giving anyone an A.  My adviser said "You must be a good writer.  He never gives A's!"  With the second A from the same prof my adviser's eyes almost hit the ceiling in surprise.

    The first of those essays was a book review that ripped Hemingway a new arsehole for The Sun Also Rises (it was an Am Lit class), and said Prof gave me an A!  I was expecting a failing grade for shredding Hemingway's writing, his subject matter, said what could have been different, and only praised one section where Hemingway was beautifully descriptive about the scenery where they fished along a river.  The rest of the book was a chore to get through because reading about alcoholics driving from place to place and getting drunk or talking about drinking they'd done, were doing, or were going to do was so unutterably boring.

    Yet another English prof who never came out of the 19th century in his mind was funnily making near-orgasmic sounds while the class was taking a test and he was grading our final essays.  It was over my essay on War comparing Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum est and Ezra Pound's Mauberly IV.  He wrote copious margin notes, gave me high, high praise, and an A+...!  (Those surprising noises were worth listening to and suppressing my giggles!)

    All of that was the late '80s, early '90s, I added an Art History minor and started in on an Art degree after finishing the English one, and then left college.  I stayed on the Dean's List the entire time I was in college at a magna or summa cum laude level for all those years.

    A decade later came my first computer, teaching myself how to restore images of old photos, making photos from old negatives (earliest one I can date is ca 1940), and back to tackling genealogy research that I'd become interested in as a teenager as a result of a biology project in high school, had done off and on for years, had put in boxes during my college years, during a few years after that.  I picked it up again..., found cousins no one knew we had and new info no one else had found, joined email lists, two countries where their records are online for free, thanks to the taxpayers in those countries, can understand those three Scandinavian languages partly because I took Norwegian, but didn't understand then that the records I'd be looking at twenty years later would be in old Dano-Norsk in Norway (which also has the best and easiest search engine for the transcribed records), and they didn't have a modern dictionary until 1917 because of their history (and they have two official modern languages with different spellings for quite a few words!).  I finally have enough knowledge to be able to turn around and help others with their research in some cases, and I branched out to doing research on the genealogy spouses of siblings of my parents, grandparents, and gr-grandparents, almost all of whom have Norwegian ancestors.  In my Swedish grandfather's case, during 45 years of searching I only found one record in the US that had his location of birth (only very slightly misspelled), and once I had that, it took all of ten minutes to get help from that list with his info, his siblings, his parents... etc.  Thanks to the internet, the best thing that ever happened to me, I continue doing research on both sides of the pond and finding new info almost every month.

    Thus, my life continues in another incarnation in this present cycle, and my knowledge can help others at the same time.  I still feed my insatiable curiosity, still do immersion learning and reading, and hopefully that will keep me from going senile in my old age.

    My response to your question about writing:  YES, YES, YES!!!  Choose your audience, imagine which questions that person will have for you, and write for/to that person.

    If you have a genealogist in the family, s/he will worship at your feet for your thoughts on your life, the lives of relatives or other friends, descriptions and feelings about historical events (you're of an age you are a walking history book, in case you didn't realize it).

    So, for everyone's sake:  WRITE!!!

    :-D  Happy, Happy Birthday!!!

    Not a 'birthday song,' but one of my favorite artists:
    Leonard Cohen - Dance Me to the End of Love (nice video, too).
    If you like this, also listen to Leonard Cohen sing In My Secret Life (but don't watch the icky video, just listen to the lyrics and melody).

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:30:46 PM PST

  •  It's better to reach 64 than to not reach it. (0+ / 0-)
  •  64 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    john keats

    yes, she still loves me, but has stopped feeding me....

  •  My take... at 64 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bisleybum

    Ship Poem

    We did Donne when Donne was done.
    This was back in 71.
    When we were done with Donne
    Then we did Herbert
    And Vaughn and Traherne before sherbert.
    And those who were inclined to Pope.
    Were very much inclined to dope.
    And those who declined to Wallace Stevens
    Were left alone. We had our reasons.
    You is young and you think you’re wise.
    Then your museum burns down and your elephant dies.
    Many years have passed and it isn’t far
    Through Villion, Nashe and then Dunbar.
    You is gettin’ old and you think you’re wise.
    Then your museum burns down and your elephant dies.
    More years have passed and now I see
    I’m very much inclined to me
    In my little boat on the wine dark sea.
    You is old and you think you’re wise.
    Then your museum burns down and your elephant dies.

    •  And at 55 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bisleybum

      The Lovely Dead/The Evil Dead

      Who are the lovely dead?
      At 55 and alive.
      Speed limit.
      Reading the obits. Look away, damn you.
      All those who at 94
      Die in their sleep.
      Wife still alive.
      Children in flats in Paris or New York.
      In love still.
      And their little cats alive alive O!.
      Or even at 89
      24 more years! Ok.
      Yes, I could do that.
      Yesterday at Barnes and Noble.
      You would think they would
      Be more specific about chest pains.
      Look around quick scurry from
      Medicine to Poetry and meet your daughter
      There
      Who are the Evil dead?
      Oh, don’t even think about
      Those poor young:.
      Certainly car crashes, or gaspings
      Before Everest.
      But here’s a guy at 55!
      Perhaps bitten by a poisonous toad in Brazil!
      That would be ok.
      No. Damn. Just dead.
      They don’t say why.
      Just because we really want to know.
      These are the Evil Dead.
      Around your age.
      Art Garfunkel why do you look so old?
      He’s still alive though.
      The evil dead crouch.
      One day you think the telephone is ringing.

  •  The answer is "Sure, why not?" (0+ / 0-)

    To answer your question: Sure, your collective “you” will love you if you are 64. Why not? Nothing changed but a digit. Those of us who do not yet know you have no reason to not love you, but of course your future diaries could change that, and even change it for the better. Write again. Congratulations on three score and four. As one who left 64 in the dust some time ago, I say it is a roll of the dice, really.  Forget the would've, could've puzzle, as there is no point. If you can, do what you want, when you want, with whom you want. And tell those whoms that you're happy to be there doing with them. They need feedback, too.  Disclaimer: A nice fire, and a great Manhattan on the rocks has a mellowing influence. My $.02.

  •  Yes, we will (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, we will still need you, yes we will still feed you, when you are......64.  But, the real question is: Can we call you elbo? And let omerbabe be your last name?

  •  I'm counting on robot bodies (0+ / 0-)

    So I can live forever.   Or just download my conscious into a computer.   Or something.   Animatronix.  

    64 is halfway there.  Long way to go still ;)

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:37:51 PM PST

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