Later this year a disturbing thing will happen, and even though it is months away, I am preparing myself for the predictable shock.On the 15th day of July, I will find myself stepping into the official world of the "seniors." I will turn 60 that day and I've got to say I find it hard to believe.It was shocking enough 10 years ago when I passed the half century mark, but adopting the hopeful rhetoric of the age, I declared 50 is the new 40, but 60 is ... well ... 60.Officially and for the record there is something about this decidedly round number that is just inherently disturbing.I'm a kid of the 1960s. I grew up in a world when the national mantra was, "Don't trust anybody over 30."Now, through no specific fault of my own, I will officially be untrustworthy times two! I will have reached the precipice in my life when I can order off the back of the menu where only "seniors" can go.I get brochures for ocean cruises, the ones old people don't go on, but their parents do!Health insurance companies don't particularly want to talk to me, but people who sell insurance to cover "final expenses" think I might be a good customer.I not only remember the days before cell phones and the Internet, but I have clear memories of black and white television, when we could only get four channels in my home in San Francisco.I've reached the point when I can bore my children by talking about the days when gas was 30 cents a gallon, and McDonald's advertised you could feed a family of four for under $10.I don't have to read about history because I lived through a good chunk of it, but having said all that, I don't think of myself as nearly as ancient as I sound.I exercise. I ride my bike, and I get down on the floor and play "cars" with my resident grandwidget, Caleb.When the opportunity presents itself, I will skip — yes skip, you know that means of locomotion they taught you in kindergarten — even though my darling daughter, Becca, claims I don't do it right.I still get a wonderful thrill each time I look at my dear bride, the saintly Susan, and I can get just as excited about taking her on a date as I did 42 years ago when we first met.Even though I'm really bad at it, I like to dance and I love 60s rock music, but I have been listening to that same music for 40 years, which is a little scary all by itself.I grew up as a "baby-boomer," but I get the impression now that I am supposed to think of myself as a "baby-gloomer." Well, that ain't happening!!!I'm as full of wonder as I ever was. I can marvel at the gleam in the eyes of a weeks-old granddaughter, or a smile on the lips of the woman who is both my wife and best friend.There can be no debate that my youth is long behind me, and if I ever accomplish some great thing in my life, nobody will ever say, "And he did it so young."There is a return on investment for having lived as long as I have. I've learned a few things about being a parent and a grandparent that I desperately wish I knew when I first got into those roles. Perhaps, but I don't want to go out too far on this limb, I have acquired a little wisdom over the decades. At the same time I am nowhere near as certain that I am right on any topic as I was about every topic when I was 25.I also have seven adults in my world who are wonderful, loving, intelligent and productive people, who pay me the honor of calling me "Dad."Even so I'm still not what you'd call thrilled about turning 60, but given the alternative, I'll adjust.
Approaching date, while disturbing, outshines option
By Deseret News
Roger H. Aylworth