So goes the words to one of my favorite Neil Young songs when I was a young man. Ah, those good ole days when I was a young man. Words that will never describe me anymore.
You see, this week my body odometer rolls over to the ripe old age of sixty-five. SIXTY-FIVE! An age I never thought I’d see. Not because I thought I’d die before then. No. It is because as a younger man, I felt invincible. Sixty-five back then was ancient history. Today; not so much. But surely it is the mark when one officially crosses over to old man status.
Yes, I’ve tried all the new-fangled ideas. Sayings such as sixty-five is the new fifty-five. Did that at sixty. How about age is just a state of mind? Did that last year. One that is gaining momentum with me is; the only old person is someone fifteen years older than me. Maybe.
The problem with all those feel good sayings is that I feel old. Yeah. I said it! My bones hurt. Years of pounding are taking its toll on my body.
All my life I’ve struggled taking naps. I just could not sleep when I knew daylight was burning. Now? If my head is down, I’m out baby!
People ask me how I got to the ripe old age of sixty-five. Well, the answer is simple; one day at a time, just like you will and everyone else.
Old man look at my life,
And there’s so much more
Well life leading up to twenty-four was pretty grand. Raised in small town Arkansas, most of my friends started grade school with me. Others joined along the way. None of us had much in the form of monetary things. But what we lacked in money, we made up in integrity and fun.
College brought new scenery and new friends. The early seventies were an exciting time to be in college. Nobody had a better college experience than me and my college buddies. I loved it!
At twenty-four, I was outta college with a new job and still a bachelor.
At twenty-four I could sleep fourteen hours every day if given the opportunity. Today, I’m lucky to get six hours. Of course, those middle of the night trips to the bathroom don’t help.
At twenty-four, I had the memory of an elephant. To do lists were unnecessary as I could just keep it all in my head. Today, I go to my computer to look up something and I forget what I was about to look up.
At twenty-four, I had a full head of hair. Wavy as a flag flying in Oklahoma wind, I could do nothing with it. Picture Peter Nesmith of the Monkees and you have my twenty-four year old hair down. While playing football, when I was hot and sweaty and took off that helmet, well, words just can’t describe it. Then at thirty, it all fell out. It bothered me at first until I figured out, I could do sexy without hair also.
Today, hair grows everywhere except where its supposed to grow; especially around the nose, ear and eye brow area. “Good grief, how did hair grow there!” I find myself saying almost all the time.
At twenty-four, I listened to rock n roll music constantly. Seventies music is unquestionably the best music ever. I still listen and enjoy it, but I do mix in a little jazz music here and there.
I need someone to love me
The whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
And you can tell that’s true.
I got married at twenty-four and God immediately smiled upon me and mine. We were young and dumb; living on love, certainly not money! We shared our dreams with each other. Some came true. Some, not so much, thank goodness.
So many wonderful people came into my life over the years, helping me to develop into the person I am today. So many great times. Some; not so much.
Kids came and just like the snap of a finger, they went. From lullabies, to college and finding women of their own, that time flew by me.
I’ve been first and last
Look at how the time goes past.
I’ve won and lost my share. But if life left me today, I can hold my head high and say I lived this life to the fullest. I’ve been blessed beyond measure, with very few regrets.
I guess since I’m old, I’m supposed to say something wise. So here goes…this is for you young twenty-four year old whipper snappers.
Don’t miss the journey while worrying about the ride. I said that with a wink and a glimmer of pure satisfaction in my eye.
Toast to the ones here today.
Toast to the ones we lost on the way.
Old man take a look at my life,
I am not like you at all.
I am you!
But even if I am now officially old, when given the choice to sit or dance…
And eat cake!
And take naps!
This journey ain’t over yet. Let’s enjoy it together!
“How can that hair possibly grow there?”