By the time you read this, Uncle Vern will be SIXTY!!! Pretty cool, no? It seems that birthdays that end in zero cause more pause and reflection than the others. Shucks, there wasn’t any time to pause for the first 5, I had to reflect at a jog just to stay ahead of the wolves!
So, there’s the first benefit to being 60: I’m writing this at 3:30 in the afternoon. At the last zero ending birthday, I wrote these notes at 3:30 in the morning because that was the only spare time I had.
I think gratitude would be the biggest theme for this birthday. There have been so many ways I should have been dead or seriously crippled; sucked into farm equipment, falling out of trees, off roofs, electrocuting myself, getting kicked or trampled by cattle or horses. And the millions of miles in heavy trucks and pick-ups pulling all manner of whatever was here that needed to be over there to get a job done. A farmer kissing his wife goodbye in the morning is twice as likely not to come home at night as a police officer. I know so many men smarter and quicker than me who didn’t, that having all my limbs and digits; both eyes, everything works and nothing hurts; I’m very grateful.
Speaking of kissing your wife, where would I be without Carol? All the best in my life is a direct result of her part of our almost 36 years of happily ever-aftering together; Uncle Vern definitely got the better end of that deal as anyone who knows will attest. Gratitude is the theme…
Getting to work every day with Erik, Heather, and Sean through whatever life throws at us is pretty special too. I mean, who pulls that off in 2017 anyhow? And Micah and Skylee are my biggest fans, they act like grampa’s a rock star instead of a farmer.
Here are some more random thoughts on aging:
First, I would not go back even one day. I know what’s back there but the future looks like a pretty big adventure.
Second, of all the decades of our lives, the most effective is our 60’s; think about it. Who picks up the phone and stuff starts getting done quick? It’s a guy in his 60’s. The second most effective decade is our 70’s, third is our 50’s with two caveats. First, you’ve gotta stay healthy, and second, you’ve gotta stay in the game. If you’re not healthy, you can’t get stuff done, and if you’re not in the game, the players won’t take your call. Doesn’t have to be the same game, but you’ve gotta be in it.
Lots of people set their trajectory to check-out in the middle of their most effective decade and completely forfeit their second most. Stay healthy, stay in the game, and effectively, purposely make your world better every day.
Third, skilled aging is doing more with less. When I was 30, I drove 40,000 miles a year and got about 1/3 as much done as today’s 20,000. We eat less but better and and enjoy it more. The 20 most effective years of my life are about to start!
Finally, we appreciate friendship, relationship, shared experience like never before. I think this is because not much else really matters. Sixties? Bring ‘em on like Donkey Kong!