The speedometer seems to be a constant, around 60; comfortable and productive in its own way – wherever I’m headed gets closer and I arrive when I get there. At 57 years and approaching the same numeric I sense the impending collision of rate and age; along with that I feel more of comfort than of passed productivity- yet it is what it is, and round the sun we go once again.
I’m now learning to live with simpler objectives, along with no schedule.
Traveling at 60 is really not so bad, plus its a long-shot better than the federal speed-limit of 55 as a fuel saving effort in the late 70’s – traveling long distance with that encumbrance was actually a pain. I have found that when merging onto the interstate for travel, you need a “hit the ground running” mindset – because if not up to ‘speed’ any peace of mind will be sucked into the vacuum and frenzy of all those folks running 80 mph…. the ‘super-slab’ pace dictates ‘hunger’ for destination – don’t get me wrong, I have ran ‘eighty and returned at the same speed, loved it.
But now I don’t have to run like that and it’s almost totally ‘bac-roads‘ for me. I’m thinking about all that I once yearned to do while crossing those same highways and driving a tractor-trailer. In the early 70’s delivering produce to Northern Markets I wanted to stop for something other than to fuel the truck and/or ‘whiz’ – but I couldn’t.
Things, places, people, and objects along the way; there’s alot blended within the scenery I’d like to see – heck, I gotta lot of catching up to do; might even wear a ‘flowerdy-shirt’ and take a picture or two.
So far, I like what I see; character surfaces around local communities and individualistic homes. How necessity/conformity (or) non-conformity drives folks to improvise their yards, cars, property, while living their life of happenstance – all of this is just outside my window.
There is simple pleasure in checking out a local junk or antique store – ‘just passing through’ places that other folks call home.
I simply notice a lot of stuff that I think is neat.
I’ll be working along these lines as I take some longer rides this year – I could only wish that a Mississippi River Trip was once again on my list, but its not – maybe the Missouri (or the Ohio).
In a few weeks I will make another loop to Florida to visit my Dad, maybe find time to kayak or visit my cousin Lee in Port St Lucie. A trip to Colorado in June (grand chillins), back to Florida in August or September (40th reunion), another to California in October (niece getting ‘hitched’). In it all I might as well take advantage of the ‘road time’ and appreciate the scenery as I pass, – Route 66 style.
Within it all I will enjoy and do the best I can to keep this posted now and then – plans are to remain on the ground (my little truck/trailer), with options of ‘junkin,paddlin, or nothin; very likely in the neighborhood of 60 miles per hour, a mile a minute – 88 feet per second – –
– all while contemplating how it all fits into the ‘grand scheme’ of things…………..
– as for the ‘other 60,’ I’ll let you know when the intersection nears.
Update, Life at 60 – (11/11/11)
At 59 years old where has the time gone? How am I different? How am I the same?
Seems like a few short years ago I was calling those folks of sixty “fossils” – now here I stand, on the edge. Damn! Why can’t we stay young forever…
I remember driving as a teen in the 1960’s and the gray headed ones were continually getting in my way; the ‘old-folks’ driving way too slow with seemingly no idea where they were heading – they were just ‘clogging-up’ the highway. In many cases I rudely honked my horn in passing; I was impatient – yet with a whole life ahead.
In my twenties I was just too busy with family, paying bills, and playing to care about age. Those partying binges were passing. In my thirties it was my parents that were aging, they were the ‘older-folks’ and their parents were passing – if not already. Death was more than a word, it was loss..
Over the following decade I realized that being 40 is halfway to the average life-span of 80 years old – with that I wondered how many ‘productive years’ remained? I felt maybe twenty – and this is where I began to sense the impending and ever-mortal shadow of ‘life-span.’
A grandfather (Youlis Calhoun Haynie) had died at 47 so as I reached this ‘benchmark’ I wondered if HE could have been satisfied with his period of time on this planet. As I passed that same birthday with thoughts of him, I felt that he could indeed have been satisfied with the presence that he had experienced. A lot happens in a half of century; growth, relationships, friends, and more passing’s. There are repeated places (little circles), events, family, and those changes about us while constructing a mini-legacy of our own life-span.
With as awesome as my fifties were a career ended. At 57 I was without work, without daily structure – now what?
My next ‘benchmark’ has to do with a most admired cousin of whom we each shared common traits; Jim Long (‘James’) was a healthy 60 when he passed, “dead when he hit the ground,” – so now I ‘shoot’ for 61. I have more roads to ride and rivers to paddle, circles to close – and sure, it’s relative (Dad was 83, next hopeful benchmark 84) .
Mentally, age seems insignificant as personal desires, simple muses, and needs bounce around these portholes much the same as they have every single day since childhood.
With these thoughts I continue down my highway in life without a schedule, no hurry – and oh yeah, last week as I passed through the countryside a youthful driver careened around my vehicle honking impatiently – as he sped on reminding me, that I am now – “one of those”…..
( and I was doing 60! )
12/12/12 ; 60, Made it (with a twinge of dammit!).
Arriving I linger with a bittersweet feeling. Somewhere between the emotions of feeling ‘automatically disqualified’ (for everything but AARP) and still having the best of health…. I’m dealing with it….
Another positive note which helps, at 60 and after living payday to payday for so many years while raising a family – I’m completely debt free! Everything is paid for (home, car, etc), now I get to play with the interest money that I have for so long diligently provided debtors. It’s not a deep well, but I am totally in the ‘black’ after a very ordinary life.
– it can be done.
Sixty plus….so that was what they call ‘the hill,’ – I’m over it!
12/13/14 – 62, ‘eligible’ for Social Security !#!. Paddlin has kinda been on the ‘back-burner’ this past summer as another ‘man-cave’ takes shape – went 30 years without a garage, now I find it hard to leave one (I have three). ‘Barn Art‘ an interesting hobby of late – works well when my ‘thinkin-cap‘ is lit. Ever wonder why older folks seem to collect empty coffee cans or accumulate small jars full of screws they never use? well, my collection is growing; I’ll figure it out and let you know one day….. Health? still very good, ‘A.’
A’ might as well be for ‘adjustment’ and ‘acceptance’ too, where the mind remains juvenile; there’s alot to adjust and accept along the way. But all is fine, still alot of circles I’d like to close.
11/13/15 – 63, mental adjustment. With age you learn to approach challenges in a more cerebral manner than physically moving the challenge aside. I notice the bones take a few minutes to loosen up (sore) after after a long ride, funny but I guess its ‘just a part of it.‘ Seemingly no physical boundaries even though it’s been a while since I broke out in a flat-out sprint (something would likely give). Fortunately my health remains steadfast; through Facebook I notice some high-school friends have fallen to time, many that I wanted to meet up with once again – lesson; “make contact when/if you can.”
A very special trip across our nation with my sister completed (slideshow) – a life’s highlight for sure leaving yet another circle to pursue (travel the same road again). Feeling blessed and fortunate as age rolls through like just another tide.
As for next year I hear the Beatles song ringing in my head;
Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me…. when I’m sixty-four ?…” taur
.Those from the past; eyes that still shine; their smile I still see, their memories in mine. tgh
10/3/2016 – The year of 63; was a year of slowing for the purpose of gathering any lingering ‘bearings’ that still be floating behind these two portholes. Its been a year to feel the current within my life; a time to simply stop and ‘touch the bottom’for a while. I’m upright,busy, able, and grateful – nice. I miss having a mission.
The schedule I’m in comes from a calendar rather than a watch. Two simple residences (bi-homal) 650 miles apart. After a couple months or more in one spot – it’s nice to take a ride (and I love the ride) to spend time elsewhere. The few friends that we have seem to like us better like that; I guess we’re just better in small doses.
Haven’t paddled much more than across our lake, I miss that too. I guess that its just the fundamental rhythm of lifestyle I’m bound to at the moment. – Bacshortly