I am worried.  I used to think that growing old would be an honorable and highly esteemed phase of life.  Now I find it is just growing old.  Mostly luck and little esteem.  Of course, I have an adequate supply of self esteem bordering on arrogance, but that doesn’t count with most folk.  I have managed to  fool a few people into believing I am worthy of respect and even love but nothing mitigates the onrush of the years.  

I don’t ruminate – much – over this phase of life but it does get my attention from time to time.  For instance – I have noticed lately how frequently some form of the word “actuarial” creeps into the conversation.  I am scaring the hell out of 80 years and actuarially speaking as a male in America I am about at the maximum for time in service, so to speak.  

Just the other day my dentist obliquely referred to the lesser of several options for filling a gap soon to appear in my uppers.  Two or three thousand bucks for a tooth reconstruction of some kind or a simple removable bridge at a fraction of the cost specially for someone at my stage of life seems to make some strange sense.  OK, he didn’t exactly say those words but I got the message.  I am going to take his advise under advisement.  Pretty sure I am going for the cheap route.  After all, actuarially speaking – – well you see my point.

Another case in point: I retired this past year.  I didn’t work for nine months of ’09.  I figured that meant that I would get most of what I paid in  taxes back.  Guess what?  I did.  Well not yet.  But my electronic submissions have been electronically accepted by state and federal agencies and I can look forward to electronically enhancing my bank account and possibly acquiring some cutting edge electronic toy – you know – to add a little fun to my twilight years.  Don’t worry.  I never start breakfast until the eggs are in the kitchen, and I haven’t got any immediate travel plans to destinations beyond the sunset.

This actuarial thinking comes to us all but when it comes to “you” in particular it is different.  Millions have gone on to that great dark beyond.  So why can’t I just shut the hell up and shuffle on off when the times comes?  The simple answer is: I don’t want to.  

Then there is CA’s mother who lives with us and is weakening by daily degrees.  She would pull the string in a moment if she could just get rid of all the pain, discomfort and boredom of being nearly totally incapacitated.  She has no designs on being here too long.  Ready and willing, her DNR in a quick draw holster.  I am sure we will all get there but not just now.  But isn’t that the way?  I don’t know.

Well, I am going to have one more sip of this very high quality Christmas gift bourbon and lay down with a new book.  Interestingly, in each of these books on my side table, people get shot, stabbed or blown up quite frequently.  This is entertainment?

 Be well, and stay tuned.

Jerry Henderson

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