You’re Having a Birthday

So today is my birthday. So far, and it is 2pm, it has been a pleasant day. I took a bike ride with my friends Debbie Rothrock and Trever Parker. Trever is 13, 14 or so. When I ride I am putting in time and covering miles. I derive pleasure from riding. Unless it is raining then not so much. I like hills, up and down. Mostly, though, I am just riding. Trever, on the other hand, is having fun, a different kind of fun. He is off the road, jumping tree roots, and cutting across the grass field to catch up with us. (We were riding at Sanderson Field.) I am not always sure where he is, not like lost, but like which side of me is he on, When I turn, am I going to run into him. Yet, riding with him, and this is ride #3 this summer, brings a sense of enjoyment, both to my heart and to my riding.

I have family here. Amber, Dave, and Jaymee came from Oregon to spend a few days while I celebrate. The more time passes, the more I appreciate family. Tonight we are having steak and a cheese cake to celebrate. Not a bad way to spend one’s birthday.

I said it yesterday in church. “Tomorrow I am old.” I am not really any older than yesterday but this birthday is a mental one for me. For decades, really since childhood, 68 was when one got old. I don’t really know why I had that idea, but I did. That was the age I assumed people retired. It was when old guys donned their Bermuda shorts, pulled halfway to their arm pits, wild shirts, knee high dark socks and went riding in their golf cart chasing a little white ball most days. To this day, I cannot wear shorts and colored socks. And they have to be no more than just over my ankle bones.

When I turned 60 I became cognizant that that number was just around the corner. I can’t say it was the motivation for changes I have been making the last 10+ years. I have lost weight, taken up skydiving and bike riding. I have new knees (the success of which is yet to be completely fulfilled). Yet, I have not had a sense of foreboding either. It has just been an ever present thought residing deep in my mind that on this day I would be old.

And so the day has arrived. And the truth is, I am younger now than I was when I was 53. I am doing more, going more places, and in better health than I was then. I was older fifteen years ago than I am right now.

So today I guess I need to create a new mental picture. A picture of when I am old. I will be old one of these days, but I am in no hurry to get there. Thanks for bearing with this young old man today. And for birthday greetings. I have appreciated them.