So. 66. Tomorrow. How that long-haired, green book bag carrying, dope smoking political radical could be turning 66 is, I admit, a puzzle. Yes, he looks a bit different in the mirror. Well, ok, quite a bit different. Instead of long hair, little hair. Instead of the book bag, a kindle. Not smoking at all. Hmmm, still a radical though. Guess the other stuff is detritus of past fashion.
After passing the last great social milestone before the final one, that is, signing up for Medicare, my life has taken on a new cast. I’ve written about it here, a change that came gradually but with a strange persistence. That new cast has home, writing, Latin and friends as its core. It entails reduced traveling into the city, a much lower profile in terms of volunteer work in either politics or the arts. A word that sums it for me is, quieter.
Quieter does not mean less energetic or engaged, rather it signals a shift in focus toward quieter pursuits: more reading, more writing, more scholarship, more time with domestic life. Unlike the pope I do not intend to give up my beloved theological writing. (Kate believes he’s suffering from dementia.) I intend rather a full-on pursuit of the writing life, novels and short stories, a text on Reimagining Faith. This full-on pursuit means active and vigorous attention to marketing.
The primary age related driver in this change is greater awareness of a compressed time horizon, not any infirmity. How many healthy years will I have? Unknown, though I do actively care for myself. Still, the years will not be kind, no matter what I do. So, I had best get my licks in now, while I can still work at my optimum.
So, the man turning 66 has a different life ahead of him than did the man turning 65. An exciting and challenging life.