Recent articles in the news have concluded that “72 is the new 30”. Evidently breakthroughs in medicine, better eating habits, regular exercising, refraining from smoking and alcoholic beverages and adopting a positive attitude have dramatically increased one’s longevity. As I turn 70 this month (March 30) I greet this information with excitement and a sense of serenity. To be 70 is to appreciate Mark Twain’s example of aging vigorously: “I am able to say that while I am not ruggedly well, I am not ill enough to excite an undertaker”.
Frankly, I don’t consider myself a septuagenarian. There are no serious illness issues in my life other than I am not supposed to eat popcorn because of a bout with diverticulosis. On the other hand, I still have my own teeth and hair. My eyesight is good and thus I don’t require a seeing eye dog. As such, I look forward to turning 70 as there are several advantages. Let me enumerate.
- For road races such as a 10K or a half marathon or duathlon, I now move into the “70 to 75” grouping. For each race or event, it is customary to award medals to the first three finishers in each category. Since there are fewer participants in that category I might just receive a medal for merely showing up!
- Being politically incorrect becomes a real plus since I can now express my divergent viewpoints on a myriad of subjects without repercussion. People will just conclude that I am senile or a nut job – but I know better!
- While driving the highways and expressways I will conclude that all the 70 mile per hour speed limit signs is the various states’ way of wishing me a happy birthday.
- Being born before 1946 means we do not have to pay taxes to the State of Michigan on our retirement finances.
- Restaurant and hotel discounts will continue of course and I will try to convince everyone that a septuagenarian deserves a larger discount. If only Bill Knapps restaurant was still in existence I could receive a 70% discount on my birthday meal!
- Of course I approach what is commonly known as the “golden years” with my wife Mary who will also become a septuagenarian this year – oops did I reveal that! And next year we will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.
- In addition, I look forward to attending graduations and weddings of our eleven grandchildren. So life is good. And while the sports world is getting ready for basketball’s March Madness, as I prepare for my 70th birthday, based on my feeling great and enjoying life, I’m ready for some March Gladness!