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Notes on turning 60


60_gfxOver the weekend, I turned 60. It’s a milestone, to be sure. It ends in a 0. It also means I’m now old. Officially old. Inarguably old. Incontrovertibly old.

I’m not the kind of person who is struck with deep thoughts at key moments. Those tend to come later. And they usually arrive as vague realizations of what transpired.

Truth be told, I didn’t awaken on my 60th birthday with any particular feelings other than noticing that it was a nice, clear summer day. I didn’t pinpoint any new aches and pains, but the ones that have been creeping up on me for the last several years were still very much there. And I really didn’t take any time during the day to take stock of where I’ve been and give some thought to where I might be headed.

But there are certain realizations I’ve come to over time that might be the wisdom of age. Of course, they might just also be pithy phrases that appealed to me. I figured I’d share some of them with you.

  • Robert Benchley was right: don’t mix scotch and gin.
  • Just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should say something.
  • Having a loving partner is a blessing.
  • Asking forgiveness isn’t as hard as it seems.
  • My father was right: there’s therapeutic value in hard work. Just not as much as he said there was.
  • Friends and family are wonderful things.
  • Kids may be even better.
  • There’s no sin in driving the speed limit.
  • It’s okay to ignore a ringing telephone.
  • Bad news always finds you.
  • The greatest hitter in baseball had a career batting average just over .400. That’s two for five. Don’t expect to do better than that in life.
  • We all know the destination. Life is about how you get there.
  • Life may be tragic, but it’s not necessarily serious. (Thanks for that one to Stu Chalfin.)
  • Try not to retrace the same steps. There can be big rewards to returning a different way than you came.
  • Aim high. The gravity of life will adjust your ambitions on its own.
  • There will always be smarter people. The only thing you can control is how hard you work at it.
  • Everything is a little softer around the edges than I once saw it. This may be more than diminishing eyesight.

As I said, I’m not a terrifically deep thinker. These are things that, for the most part, have slapped me in the face. I just happened to remember them. There’s a saying among my generation that if you remember the past, you weren’t having a good enough time.

So what am I forgetting?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Joe LaRosa June 25, 2013, 11:40 am

    “Don’t trust anyone over 30” ~ Jack Weinberg
    “Everyman over forty is scoundrel” ~ George Bernard Shaw
    were and still are more right than wrong (verified by experience)….present company excluded.

  • Sally Moore June 27, 2013, 1:57 pm

    Well put, Paul. Hope your day was awesome. Are we still allowed to use that word? How about groovy or bitchen?
    Joey – I prefer ’60 is the new 40′

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