Good morning and greetings, potato latke fans. Well, coming up this week, I’m hitting another milestone along the long and winding road of my life. No, it’s not the 500th sunrise or the 1,000th sunset I’ve shot or my viewing of the season finale of the family friendly “Sons of Anarchy.” No, it’s something even scarier than the every day activities of a Northern California outlaw motorcycle gang involved with the IRA, CIA and Mexican drug cartels. So I’m just going to lay it out there. I’m turning 60.
There, I said it. Six tee. The big six oh. I’ve been trying to avoid this day for a decade, ever since I turned the big five oh. But like turning into your parents, there’s no avoiding it. Even though the number 60 flows out of my mouth as smoothly as cashew butter on a fresh croissant, it’s a painful realization that I’m not getting any younger. Let’s face it, in dog years, I’m dead.
There was little joy in telling people over this past year that I was 59, because that was way too close to the six decades mark. I remember the words of author Hervey Allen, who once said, “The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams, the old servants of regret.” Ironically, Hervey died while taking a shower at age 60. And that is why from now on I’m only going to take bubble baths.
Years ago, Anglo-Irish priest Jonathan Swift lamented, “No wise man ever wished to be younger.” I’m not sure what that says about me, as I wouldn’t mind knocking thirty years off my life resume. And it was either Daniel Day Lewis or Abraham Lincoln who proclaimed, “In the end, it’s not the years that count. It’s the life in your years.” I’m all for living life to the fullest, and that’s why my new HD DVR recorder is able now able to store over two hundred thousand hours of programming. As they say, “Don’t just watch TV, Direct TV.”
The actor George Clooney, who I can’t count the number of times I’ve been mistaken for, once remarked “I’m kind of comfortable with getting older because it’s better than the other option, which is being dead.” On this point I’m in full agreement. They say age is just a number. If I had a choice, I would keep mine unlisted.
Pablo Picasso once tweeted to his friends that “One starts to get young at the age of sixty and then it is too late.” Hopefully, with my boyish good looks and silver locks, I’ve bucked that trend. He also once said “I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.” Yes, happiness is all about the simple pleasures. If so, I’d like to live as a Hawaiian man with lots of warm breezes.
Mark Twain wrote that “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.” What an interesting thought. Sounds like a TV series on FX. I know that I’m getting older, as I’m no longer the chiseled Adonis I was back in grammar school. I believe it was my rabbi’s wife who said, “You’re aren’t really turning 60. Just 21 with 39 years experience.” That sounds great. If only I didn’t groan like Don Rickles every time I bend down to pick something up. Or in the words of the great Yankee centerfielder Mickey Mantle, “If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.”
But it’s all good, because I have no choice in this aging matter. Or as journalist John P. Grier offered, “You are only young once, but you can be immature for a lifetime. Or as baseball’s Chili Davis put it, “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” Myself, I’m not really thinking 60, more like $59.95 plus tax.
The ageless baseball player Leroy “Satchel” Paige once quipped, “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” So I’m going to take his advice and look at this birthday event as another marker along the freeway of life. After all, sixty is just a number, which at this stage of my life, sounds a whole lot better than seventy, eighty or ninety. So to quote the great philosopher and socialite Paris Hilton, “The way I see it, you should live everyday like it’s your birthday.” That’s sound advice coming from a woman who said it while making a video in her birthday suit.
So here’s the bottom line. I’ll be sixty years old on Wednesday. I’m healthy. I can still hit the open three. Loving family and friends abound. I’ve got a a golden retriever who worships me. So life is good and I am more than blessed. And my accountant says I’ll be able to live off the karmic residuals from writing this blog for decades to come.
For today’s photo entertainment I’m going back to my blonde roots. The first two photos are my favorite sunrise moments taken at Lighthouse Point. Portraying the early morning beauty in the skies above Santa Cruz is one of the reasons I started this blog. The other is that I’m very lonely. Then to mark this milestone occasion we move on to a couple of photos of yours truly in the South Pacific and shrouded in color on the central coast. We then close out the birthday montage with two shots of me and my golden retriever Summer. She’d been hounding me for weeks to include her in this holiday package.
To check out these photos, click on http://www.SunriseSantaCruz.com/blog