Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Officially Over The Hill

   Yesterday I turned 65 and entered the final quarter (or less) of my life. To say I'm not where I planned to be at this stage in life is an understatement. Hopefully this won't turn into a pity party, but if there are others out there who have reached this point and are not happy then at least they will know they're not alone. Also for those of you who haven't reached this point, be aware that no matter how well you plan, when life hands you lemons and you make lemonade, sometimes that isn't good enough.
   If there is one phrase that describes me the best, it's "Jack of all trades, master of none". I've always felt there wasn't anything I couldn't do, and maybe I could have reached master status in some of those things, but I always got bored and moved on to something new. I had three things going for me: excellent physical condition, above average intelligence, and attitude. An aneurysm destroyed the intelligence, medications and old age took away the physical condition, and depression finally robbed me of my attitude.
   Unfortunately, the one thing I've never been good at is personal relationships or dealing with people. Part of that is because at an early age, I learned to develop a separate personalty for my public interactions with people. It was the only way I could survive in school and at work. The number of close friends I've had over the years can be counted on one hand. I was always afraid if I got too close, they would see past the public personality and discover the real me.
   I have no idea what the future holds. Some of you may remember I do my best to take care of two disabled women in our home, and it's only by combining our three incomes we can afford to live here. If any one of the three of us pass away, the other two will be forced to move. The house payment is already much less than the average rent payment here so I don't know where they could move to. Every year as our fixed incomes stay fixed, and the cost of everything else rises, it gets harder to survive.
   I'm having a difficult time finding anyone who will hire somebody my age, so the only thing I have left is my writing. This doesn't give me much hope as I'm such a slow writer, and everyone tells me it takes at least ten years and a substantial back list of available titles before I can expect to make any money. Oh well, what else can I do?
   OK, I'll stop whining now. It's said that people like to read blogs about your personal life, so maybe folks will know me a little better after this.
   Thanks for reading.


  1. It seems that sometimes it is cathartic to open up a little and lament a bit about what ails you. I couldn't say that you are a jack-of-all trades because you were a Sonarman or the other way around. But, it is one of the few rates in the Navy that operates and maintains their equipment. A Sonarman has to know electronics, hydraulics, piping, fire control, submarine detection, grams, cryptographic, damage control, fire fighting, line handling, weapons handling, and small arms; plus all the military bearing, and watch standing. It is no wonder you are good at so many things.

    Turning 65 and just thinking you are finally over the hill (most everyone else thinks that is 40 or 50) testifies to your youthful thinking. I applaud you for cresting, or perhaps you haven't crested as yet. I think all things in life are relative. Think about those around you in the same age group. Are you doing better in your three areas or worst than most of them? Of course, we can't compete with a 30 year old and why would we want to? I've had much the same thinking as you. In one of my blogs back in January I wrote,

    "There was a time I held myself second to no one.  I always felt that I could do what any other man had done be that physical or mental or both. Fears and insecurities never has knowingly played a role in the shaping of my life.  But that said, now my mental facilities have diminished mostly in memory, and my six-pack has turned to a keg; I don't hold to such a notion as equality any longer.  I embrace reality."


    Without us, Geriatric doctors wouldn't have anything to do. When I read your posting on your writing mythology, I admit, I was surprised. Then in a lecture I listened to the lecturer gave a run down of various writing styles and low-and-behold there you were. It's given me pause to think and subsequently I have slowed my writing down a bit to try to take more care in the moment rather than rely on lots of rewrites. However, I seriously doubt that anything I present to the group will get a pass because it sounds good like it is. So, you may write a little slower than average, but when you are done - you're done.

    Christ said something along the lines of "When you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me." There is little if anything more noble than taking care of others in need. It is generally done in a loving manner through a sense of duty and appreciation for those cared for. That doesn't go unnoticed in the big scheme of things, relief is ahead. Planning is prudent, but still nothing to worry about.

    Lastly, your public personality is working at full strength. Although, I don't know you well I like what I know. I can only imagine what the real you is about. Could be Mr. Hyde is lurking in there somewhere. You could have the makings of a really good story bubbling to surface. Okay, it wasn't my intention of piggy-backing on your blog with blog posts of my own, but you do spur reflection and the need to respond. I read dozens of blogs and only comment of a few.

  2. those "big" birthdays are awful! existential angst all the way. Quite a milestone, too. Congratulations