I’m not saying I’m old, but I was born in another century. So you’re probably thinking you could be 18 years old and have been born in another century. You might be thinking that if you were any good at math. I’m pretty good at math, but sometimes I have trouble remembering what year it is.
In case you’re thinking I might be 18 years old, I was born more than half a century into another century— 53 years to be exact.
That’s right, I’ll be 70 years old at week’s end. Don’t feel bad for me. I’m still young at heart— a 70-year-old heart that keeps on ticking after taking a licking over the 840 months and the 3,640 weeks of my life. I told you I was good at math. I think I did all of that in my head, but my short-term memory isn’t that good so maybe not. I do know that I did need a calculator to figure out the number of days in my life as of this publication date, October 5, 2017. In case you are interested, it comes to 25,567 days of living after adding 18 leap days and subtracting the two days until my birthday.
My math tells me that, based on an average of seven hours a day, I’ve slept away a total of 7,457 days of my life, which is about 20.5 years. On immediate reflection, that may seem a terrible waste, but sleep is good and it allowed me to accomplish much during those waking 49.5 years, including going on 74 diets, losing 1,912 pounds, gaining back just over a ton, paying 4,787 bills and waking up after 14,306 dreams I couldn’t remember and 7,012 I could and didn’t really want to.
Many of the most memorable things in my life like going to war, graduating from college, getting married, buying two houses and having our first child occurred in the first 280 months of my life. Does that mean I haven’t done much of anything in the past 560 months? It does to make the numbers more dramatic for this column, but I conveniently ignored the birth of our second child, the various achievements of both, their marriages, a grandchild, retirement and having lots of waitresses and store clerks call me “honey” and “sweetie.”
In fact, the past 560 months have been great. So far I’ve avoided any serious illness and something most unusual for someone about to turn 70— I don’t take any prescription drugs. That may change with my next doctor’s appointment, but I’m just saying. Anyway, you can’t be drug free forever, which is how long I’m planning to live. Living forever would mean I’d have a lot more things to remember, most of which I would forget because there wouldn’t be enough room in my shrinking memory bank.
Being 70, in itself, doesn’t make me feel old until I realize that comes out to 10 dog years. My dog is 10, so I guess we’re both the same age. We’re a lot alike. There’s the drooling thing and a fondness for napping. We both growl when somebody tries to take away our food, and we both like slippers. I like to wear them and Jake likes to chew them. Sometimes he chews them while I’m wearing them. That’s why you have to keep moving when you’re wearing slippers in my house.
My secret of longevity, by the way, is keep moving or you might have to buy another pair of slippers. They do still call them slippers, right?
There have many highlights and milestones in my life, but I can’t remember most of them. Old guys, by the way, are notorious for remembering stuff that happened 50 years ago as if it just happened, but have no idea what they did yesterday. Not me. I remember yesterday as if it happened today. Actually today is pretty much a repeat of yesterday, so it’s not all that hard to remember.
I’ve noticed that I can’t think of some words and names like I used to, which is not a good thing for a writer. It’s not that I’m all that worried about it, because I’ll eventually come up with a word almost as, you know, good. It is with disturbing frequency that I run into people I know. At least I think I know them because they seem to know me and smile a lot. So far I haven’t forgotten the names of any close family members, but if I do my wife what’s-her-name will remind me.
Another thing about a lot of old guys is they go on and on and you can’t get away from them.
So if I’ve gone on too long, feel free to stop reading. I don’t mind and I wouldn’t know anyway.