Age, they say, is just a number. And it was much easier to believe them until I became that number. ¶ It sneaks up on you, that's for sure. One day you're in your mid-30s and the next, the kid at the cash register is asking if you want the senior discount at Sweet Tomatoes. ¶ If someone asks me my age, I instinctively want to answer 43. I don't know why I'm stuck on that age, but the truth -- I turn 58 this summer -- doesn't fit with how I see myself. Middle-aged?
Eligible for senior discounts? I don't think so.
If you want to get philosophical about it, we start aging the second we enter the world, fresh and new and completely unconcerned about retirement plans and health care and aging parents. But with each tick of the clock, we grow that much older.
We could sit around and dwell on it, or we can live. We can celebrate all the things that come with age, such as a certain amount of freedom to speak our minds and spend time with the people we love. We have to accept some of the less pleasant things about aging, such as the inability to live life as a perpetual 20-year-old and ... uh, I forgot the other thing I was going to say. Oh yeah, memory loss.
This new section, The Good Life, will explore all of those things, the good and the not so good, but mostly the positive, because life after 50 offers some pretty wonderful things that shouldn't be overshadowed by the challenges. We're realists, though, so we'll report on those things, too, with some useful information on how to live with it and perhaps make it better.
Each month, we'll have a selection of stories that matter to folks like us, although you don't have to be a certain number to get something out of them.
We also want to hear from you, and we've got a couple of avenues for that. We plan to have a standing feature called "Trip of a Lifetime." We're looking for stories about the vacations and adventures that you've taken. That can mean different things to people. Maybe your trip of a lifetime was an African safari with your family or a solo trek to Nepal or a cruise through the Panama Canal.
If you want to write about your trip, send me an email or letter (the address is below) and tell me a little about it. We'll need photos, too.
The other opportunity is to join our group of advisers. We're looking for people who want to write about their experiences of being that number, but we're also looking for folks we can turn to for opinions on various subjects. Don't worry if you're not political or don't have an opinion on every topic that comes up. Chances are we'll find something that will pertain to you as we go along.
If you want to be on the advisory group, send me your name, a little bit about you and your background, if you'd like to write an essay now and then, and information on how to contact you.
We'd also love to hear your ideas on subjects we should explore, so feel free to send me those, too.
We're excited about the opportunity to delve into these subjects as they've never been looked at before and have some fun doing it.