My grandfather was born on Christmas Day. My father was born on Christmas Day. I was a bit late, but made my appearance on New Years Day--January 1, 1936. Reaching my 80th year inspired a special party hosted by son Lee (he broke the male holiday chain with a February birthday), Lee's fiancée Karen, beautiful wife Sandy, and Karen's mother, Ilse.
The party was lots of fun. Participants kept things on the positive side; a card from Ilse informed me
|Something to celebrate--80|
No matter how you frame it, however, 80 is closer to the end than the start of our individual journeys. I have spent a little time reflecting on that, and must confess to a touch of sadness. Life has been good; I'm still healthy, although not quite as wealthy and wise as I would like. Hanging around for a while longer would be nice.
My spirits got a boost when up popped a link to a November article in the New England Journal of Medicine reporting on a major study of life expectancies around the world. I learned that two-thirds of men in developed countries die before they are 80. I thus have outlasted millions of my contemporaries. The researchers also found that an American male reaching 80 has good odds of living to 87.
The nice thing about age statistics is that getting into the lead invites you to continue on. If I make the 87 marker, odds are I'll get into the 90s. Assuming reasonable health, becoming an octogenarian could be the start of a fairly long and pleasant addition to my journey.
I immediately experienced one of the minor joys of advanced age. There no longer is any need for those miserable New Years resolutions. They are supposed to have the laudable purpose of self-improvement, but after 79 years of striving, and usually falling short, in that department what you see is what you're going to get. I intend to take things as they come, and have some fun along the rest of the way, however long or short that part of the adventure may be.