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Column

The perks of life

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the first time Mick received something in the mail after he turned 55 years old that could be construed as a real kick-in-the-teeth — a brochure from a cremation service. I couldn’t help but laugh.

I’m not sure if that type of business is privy to records somewhere implying you’ve hit an age where you need to be considering your options for that inevitable time to come or what, but the irony of its arrival in our mailbox was priceless.

He also regularly receives invitations to tour different retirement communities — all of which sound pretty good to me.

So far, I haven’t received any of those mailings, which is sort of odd since my 35-year-old son even gets AARP literature in the post.

I don’t think of myself as old, because I’m not. Granted, I’m a little beyond middle aged since I doubt I’ll live to be 110, but in my book, I’m just getting to the good stuff.

As far as I can see, there are plenty of benefits to continually celebrating birthdays.

First off is, of course, is the alternative ... not having them at all.

Then there is the insight one gains from simply living life. All the knowledge acquired over the years from things you just can’t learn about in books.

There is also the peace of mind that comes from raising a family who all seem to be getting along well at being grown-up. All parents know you never stop worrying about your kids, no matter what their ages — but once they are somewhat settled into a smooth and productive routine in their own lives, there is a sort of calmness that overcomes you.

For me, I think being able to take a step back and try to take in the “big picture” has become something of which I’m quite proud. In my younger days, I tended to have a knee-jerk reaction to things ... I was too quick to react. I knew there were at least two sides to everything, but frankly, I wasn’t patient enough to take that into consideration before reacting.

I’ve also overcome excessive worrying. There was a time when, for some unknown reason, I felt I had to carry the weight of everyone’s problems on my shoulders. I no longer do that and have adopted the “everything will be alright” philosophy. Surprisingly, most everything does turn out alright.

I’m quite content with me. I don’t feel the need to fit a mold. As Popeye said, “I am what I am.” I think I’ve always been comfortable in my own skin. I’m not perfect, I mean I definitely have a few dings and nicks and more than my share of idiosyncrasies, but I’m completely OK with them.

The list of good things that come with a few more laugh lines, those pesky gray hairs and more candles on the cake are actually quite numerous.

But the one that made my day a few weeks ago, was the 10 percent “super adult” discount I got when the cashier totaled my lunch order. I actually asked if she’d added my order correctly since it was a bit less than I normally paid when she had to explain to me what was happening. And that, my friend, is just another perk of life. I mean 80 cents is 80 cents.

Contact Dana King at
dking@shawmedia.com

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