LIFE AFTER SIXTY: 11 KEY THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Writer and Author
© June 2020 All Rights Reserved
GROWING OLD IS MANDATORY, ACTING OLD IS OPTIONAL
Yes, I’m on the far side of sixty, but that doesn’t mean it’s a sudden death experience or sentence. In fact, this October I’ll be 70 according to one of my two birth certificates. LOL According to my mothers negotiated birth certificate, whose deceased, she was way underage to have a child and my father was way over age to be having sex with a gal of my mothers age, so in order to keep my father out of jail a little finagling was orchestrated to conceal my exact birth year from the family and the law. So much was the case in 1949. In fact my father was in the Army when I was conceived. Eventually, he served in the Korean War. On leave? Who knows I wasn’t born yet. LOL
However, according to my actual birth records, in the State of Alabama, I was born in 1950 and not 1951 as my second birth certificate signifies. Apparently the United States Department of Defense agreed with the State of Alabama because I received my draft notice for induction into the U.S. Army and the Vietnam War in 1968, ordering me to report to the Military on January 3, 1969. What happened afterwards is an explanation for another day. I served my country, as did all my relatives inducted, during the War, with honor, distinction and an honorable discharge two years later. The curious nature of my induction is: I served in the Vietnam War with two first cousins Roger Dale Curl and Steve Street.
The curious oddity is: After our initial meeting at my aunts Mary’s house in Shelby, Alabama to sign our names in the family bible before overseas deployment, we never saw each other again until we were all discharged, from the Army. Another oddity is that my first cousin Kathy Jeronowitz and her husband Jerry Jeronowitz served in the Navy during the same War. One fact is certain, I come from a long list of Military Veterans, before and after my service, and we’re a fighting bunch. Lol
11 CURIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT BEING 60 AND OVER
1. The number one question, I’m always asked, is: “How’s sex after sixty?” I have no earthly idea why people think sex disappears after you turn sixty and beyond. Perhaps it does for some, but not for me. Actually, I find sex more enjoyable on the far side of the sixty fence. In today’s pharmaceutical age there’s a pill for everything – what ales you and what doesn’t work as good as it used too. Satisfaction and gratification is only a short visit to the pharmacist with a prescription in hand. To keep this event a non-issue, one only has to stay in shape and take care of your health.
My Uncle Junior is a testament to that. After my uncle passed and was buried my first cousin Mike and his wife Laura was doing the usual post death cleanup, at his house, when they discovered that in every shirt pocket, ever pants pocket, every jacket pocket and in every one of his vehicles he had Viagara tablets stashed just in case the opportunity presented itself. Bear in mind my Uncle was in his mid 80’s when he passed. That’s the way. I want to go.
2. Some people think your old after sixty. I have a news flash for the younger generation. I still work six to seven days a week and I work out at the gym, at least, 5 to 6 days a week with martial arts and boxing classes. I still ride 5 to 6 head of horses a day during training season and I provide riding lessons on the weekend. Age is just a number, like any other number. It’s the mindset and taking care of yourself that matters most. As the old adage says, “I don’t want to go to the grave in a pristine body, I want to slide in it side ways with a body that’s worn out after I’ve used up every bit of talent God gave me.
3. One of the most disparaging concepts I see with people my age, is that they actually think their old and on their way to the grave. You’re only as old as you think you are. For the record, I was 40 years old when I learned two new professions. How to fly high performance airplanes and how to train and ride high performance Reined Cow Horses. As the old adage states, “your only as old as you feel and you want to be.” A persons age is relative and of no consequence.
4. Some people are under the misguided impression that life after 60 resides you to a wheel chair or the rocking chair on the front porch. Quite the opposite. As a matter of fact, I’m not in the shape that I was when I left boot camp, in the Army, or in the physical condition I was in when I was fighting on the law enforcement Karate team, but I can still run circles around the younger generation and do it on a regular basis. Another fact of life is: “I probably cant run a mile in the same time and with the same speed as I did in my younger years, but who cares. Haven’t you ever read the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. Slow and steady is more precise and enduring than fast and furious!” LOL
5. Another misconception is: “As you age, you automatically lose your faculties.” In some cases that may be true, but in my case I take precautions so that I can remember where the bathroom is and where I left my keys. Today, I’ve doing as much mentally and creative as I’ve always done, probably more so. Over-the-years, I’ve discovered the key to mental health is to keep using your brain and feed it the right vitamins and minerals to extend longevity. As the old adage, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” At my age, I’d rather have selective memory loss than actual memory loss caused by disease from not exercising my brain power.
6. People think once your over sixty it’s time to retire. Retirement is an individual concept. For me retirement isn’t an option. I enjoy what I do and I enjoy the people I do it with. My philosophy is: I can die doing what I love doing or I can die laying on the sofa doing nothing. Either way, death is inevitable to all of us. No one is going to get out of this world alive. Why not make the best of your time here and have some fun doing it.
7. People think you slow down and kinda slide in the grave towards the end. Sure, there are a lot of people who do. I’m not one of them. I’m doing more things and having more fun than ever. I’m having as much fun today as I did when I was in my 40’s or 50’s. Now that’s living life.
8. People think you long for the days you were 20. That’s a pure fallacy. When I was in my late teens and early twenties I was in the Army in the middle of a war. After, I was in another war: As a Drug Enforcement Agent. Who wants to go back to the most stressful times of my life. Thanks for thinking of me though.
9. People constantly ask me if I fear death. Death is a relative fact of life. Whether you fear it or not, it’s inevitable. I don’t want to dwell on death, I just want to accomplish as much as I can and have as much fund as I can before that inevitable day arrives. I’m sure, the Lord and I will have a lot to discuss. But right now I’m still celebrating.
10. I’ve heard it said, “Getting old isn’t for the faint of heart.” So I decided not to get old. Age is a relative number and in no manner should it dictate how you feel or act. Enjoy your life and let God take care of the rest. Stay in shape, eat the right foods, take the right vitamins, exercise as often as you can, keep up with your mental health and live life to the fullest.
11. I’ve found that the most important aspect of your life is to remain: Mentally stable, forever optimistic and keep your mind and body strong. After all God designed our bodies as a perpetual machine. If you take care of it, it will take care of you. Stay active in your life, seek a medical professional to help you with what ales you. Never allow a contracted disease to dictate or control your life. There’s always ways around it. Remember, it’s mind over matter that’s the deciding factor.
“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle!”
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Richard E. "Rick" Dennis
Freelance Writer and Author