Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Am Now Officially Old.

What, pray tell, yea verily, tells you Uncle Pee, that you're getting old. What was the indicator, the confirmation, the proof that you're now eligible for citizenship of The Gray Nation?

Well Bunky, I now I'm officially entering the senior set because I received my first piece of mail from that bastion of biddies, that enclave of the elderly, the AARP. Oh, Joy!! I don't know how they got my name, but someone over at their headquarters needs to know that I'm still five years away from eligibility for membership. I'm only 45 and you need to be 50 to join the AARP.

I guess this is their way of putting a bug in my ear that I've got more years behind me than ahead, and that I better get my ass in gear if I want to face my "golden" years (yeah, right. Fool's gold's more like it) with some sense of dignity.

I don't dread growing old. It's part of that package deal called life. It's not an option, It's going to happen whether I want it to or not. And I'm already seeing signs of the inevitability of advancing age. I already went through all that in the post titled "On Turning 45", so I won't mention them again. After all I'm almost looking forward to what life will be like when I'm 64.

I know that Social Security as we know it won't be around. The ratio of people paying into the system to the people drawing out is approaching one to one. The Baby Boom generation is just now reaching retirement age, so a ton of people will be drawing Social Security checks within the next few years. And considering that generation will live much longer than their predecessors, the Social Security will need serious overhauling to insure that those on the tail end of the Boomer generation like myself come even close to getting out what they paid in.

I'm counting on working until I die because Social Security alone won't take care of my situation. Beside's I'd be bored shitless if I just sat around retired. I have to be doing something for no other reason than to keep what little brain I have left somewhat active.

Every day, another part of this body of mine shows that it ain't the spry young stud it once was. It's a game to predict which body part wins the "Ache of the Day" contest. The short term memory is all but shot. I've lost quite a bit of weight, but I'm still what most would call obese. My face has a heavy growth of salt and pepper beard that will NEVER see a bottle of Grecian Formula 16, Just For Men or any of those other products because I earned my gray the hard way and damned if I'm gonna cover it up to satisfy the culture's obsession with youth.

It's rather ironic because my face is the only place with a large concentration of gray hair. If I were to let the hair on my head grow out, I would have little gray except around the temples. Then again, I'd also have a rather large bald spot on the top and front of my head so I just keep it shaved. I have little sense of vanity and I'm not on the planet to impress anyone with my stunning good looks so I have no problem with Nature taking its course in regards to my looks. I'm a laissez faire kind of person so what happens happens and letting myself go is no big deal.

More and more I'm starting to think about what happens when God has had enough of my antics and punches my ticket. I hope that my passing will be quick and fairly painless. Ideally, I just want to fall asleep and pass away quietly in the night. Or if it has to be while I'm awake, I don't want to know what hit me. I don't want to be kept on life support with my brains reduced to mush. That's not living, that's existing. And there's no joy in that. If I'm found in that condition, pull the plug and send me on my way with your prayers. I know where I'm going and death is just the gateway to that destination. Not that I'm in a big hurry to get there, mind you. I won't go one nanosecond before God pulls the switch, but if it happens in the next 10 seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, or decades, I hope to be ready to make the jump.

I once heard a saying that to the Christian, earth is as close to hell as they can get, but to the non-believer, earth is as close to heaven as they can get. I'll leave the sorting process out to God because He and alone knows the contents of our hearts and maybe what the Bible says about heaven and hell may or may not be accurate. I have a feeling there will be a lot of people who were thought to be spending eternity wearing asbesto undies and SPF 1000 sun blocker, that will end up hanging out on the corner of Faith St and Hallelujah Blvd. And vice versa. We'll know when we get there won't we??
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