Just a few days ago, I turned 65. I tell you that not to hear a chorus of well wishes, nor for you to send me a card or buy me a present, but by any standard this is a “passage” year for me or anyone else who reaches this benchmark of life.
It is a birthday to take a second and reflect on where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and probably just as important … where you are today and what will you do with the however many cycles you have left on this blue and green orb.
On the practical and financial side of the ledger, it is a literal turning of the page. Medicare, Social Security, et al. … necessitate looking into or rearranging your figurative “ducks” to make sure they will still be in a row.
Even in a normal year, I’m prone to reflect. Wondering about anything and everything. Decisions made, people loved, people lost, and, without getting too deep, is my heart and soul where I want them, where I need them to be.
Sixty-five as late as my parents’ generation was the “fall” of their lives, indeed, some would say they occasionally felt the first chill winds of winter, but hopefully, though I have some things that bear more than a casual watching, that with the help of good docs and the wonders of modern medicine that I have more than a few years left in the tank.
So, for me at least I was already prone for deeper reflection this year than in past passage years. Is it because of what 2020 has brought upon us (even at its halfway mark) that I feel so disjointed and disoriented?
With a pandemic that has spread across our county, indeed, the world and now a senseless killing that has led to civil unrest, I’m beginning to feel as if I am an observer to a world thrown off its very axis with events that inspire tears and anger, sometimes in the same minute.
I and my loved ones have weathered every dangerous obstacle thus far, and I hope and pray that this will continue. I am grateful for that, and I give thanks to the greater power who has kept them and me safe.
But I can’t help but feel a little cheated (and then feel guilty because of it) that of all my allotted years, that the year the world has gone crazy is my 65th. Life is on pause, understandably so, but with the emotional significance of reaching that milestone like a neon sign on Main Street, now we have to hit the pause button!
As I write “cancelled” across penciled-in events already on my calendar, I again do that damn reflecting thing. I am sad that unique events, locales, and music are erased, but then realize that with all the turbulence swirling around me, I have been for the most part untouched.
With so many deaths, with so many lives altered by drastic economic changes, it is yet another reason to be thankful.
So, with my finger firmly on the “pause” button, I hope and pray for the day to hit “play” again.
Brian Curry is a longtime Long Island Advance columnist and a three-time winner of the New York Press Association’s “Column of the Year.” He is a frequent contributor to the Sun Lakes Splash. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.