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Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Unsettling 9s



People often go through a time of existential crisis when they hit an age ending in “9.” 29, 39, 59, 79 -whatever. There shouldn't be anything special about say 39 or 38 or even 40. In the big scheme of things the ages are not much different. However, there is something about a birthday before a decade change that stimulates self-reflection and self-assessment.

It never hit me that way before. The age that got to me was 26. Weird, right? Why 26? Well, I was in a totally different place than most of my childhood friends. I'd been a firefighter for over 7 years, was married,had children and a house. Those all are normal adult milestones. My friends, however, were often freshly out of college and getting into exciting careers. Few were married and even fewer had children. Their lives looked so exciting. While I had no regrets, life had settled into a pattern.

After 26 it was clear sailing. 29, 39, and even 49 were no problem at all. I thought I was immune from the unsettling 9s. Then I hit 59. It caught up to me then. There were a number of things leading up to my 59th year. My dad, who I was very close to, passed away. My lovely wife and I lost our boat in a shipwreck. For the first time time in many years we stayed home during a New Hampshire winter. Then my leg got injured and greatly limited my mobility for months.

Suddenly, staring at 60 felt like a big deal. There is so much yet to do, and mortality is creeping up on me. There are things I've yet to do and experiences yet to experience. There are plans I've been sitting on for years. It's time to move on them or forget about them. I'm even considering things like fixing up the house and selling it in a few years. Not sure that's what will happen, but I'm thinking about things I'd never considered before. It could be worse. I could be looking at getting a sports car or having an affair. There's nothing wrong with change, but there's no sense in being foolish about it.

I've decided to embrace this “9” year and use it to inspire my next adventures.

-Sixbears

13 comments:

  1. A man with a bad leg shouldn't have an affair. Makes it to easy for the wife to catch and get revenge. Over wintering in N.H. has been rough on you. A beach a beer and cheeseburger could help.

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  2. I've almost stopped looking at Harbor Fright fliers and sale emails.(almost). I'm realizing at 62 I'm not going t o be building sheds and lean-to shacks much more.
    But I hear you, brother.

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    Replies
    1. Time waits for no one. The darn years keep moving forward.

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  3. Unless you water supply changes for the worse, your house could be a life line. Water is the new gold and so much is contaminated or unavailable these days. I was amazed how you got water out of such a shallow well.

    The world has become a homogenous place. McDonald's everywhere you go. So much sameness. If you didn't see a street sign or hear a different language, you wouldn't know where you were. I am old enough to remember the differences between states and dialects. It was interesting then.

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  4. LOL - I'm not playing one-upsmanship here, but I beat you by a year. From my youth, I've always had this idea that I'd live to 75, why 75, I don't know. When I turned 25, I remember thinking that my life was 1/3 over and I'd accomplished nothing of importance! - lol - MY "59" moment actually came when I had been 60 a few months and developed my current heart trouble. That's when I realized that I had WAY too many plans that would never come to pass and that I needed to prioritize. Well, I've got my ticker-kicker in place now, so I figure I'm still good for 75! ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Glad your ticket is sorted out. Better get busy on that bucket list.

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  5. The thing that irks me the most about getting older is that somehow, it's supposed to change your life. Don't buy anymore guns, sell the ones you have, so we won't have to fool with them when you die. Don't add on this or that to the place, we won't be living here in the future so what's the point? And on, and on. I'm going to try to live the life I enjoy right up until I croak. That doesn't mean not taking action to facilitate the transition when I do, but not spending my time getting ready to die either.

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    Replies
    1. Harry,
      Sounds like you've been talking to my wife! :-)

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    2. The key is that you aren't getting ready to die. Some people like to downsize to free up more money and energy to do new things so that's fine. However, nothing wrong when you keep on keeping on because you've already found what you like.

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  6. I'm living where I want to live. I'm traveling to places I've never been. I stay active instead of sitting all day watching TV. I'm in my 70's. I don't know what age I'll get to and quite often forget what age I am since my brain seems to think I'm younger than my body lets me know I am periodically. It is what it is. My bucket list grows shorter.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know how I feel about a bucket list. It feels too much like racing death. However, there are many things I'd like to do yet. Maybe it's just because it's a "kick the bucket" list.

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