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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: June 14, 2012

The Blues

As your birthdays come at you with greater regularity, you (or at least I) become a little depressed. It is nothing serious or life threatening, but it leaves a mark on you.

I first noticed it while getting in and out of a car. I used to spring in and out like a jack-in-the-box and go about my business swimmingly. Now I feel like a salted pretzel that is being unwound.

After sitting in one position for a length of time, when I get up I sound like a symphony of creaks and cracks. I try to disassociate myself from all the noise but it’s there and I can’t hide it.

As a youngster playing basketball in the East Bronx, I always prided myself on my “first step.” That is the quick step that gets you around the person guarding you. I was quick, but that quickness seems to have disappeared. It is gone, lost in a symphony of creaks and cracks.

Tennis is also a game where the first quick step gets you to the ball. Nowadays I find myself missing shots I made last year or the year before; very disheartening.

I know that as I mature (in age) there are wonderful things to be proud of that should make me very happy. My lovely wife Lorraine and my three married children, plus six adorable grandchildren, should make for a paradise, but I keep thinking about the loss of my former athletic abilities. I know these thoughts are unreasonable and even stupid, but I can’t control my feelings.

I was once counseled by an 85-year-old gentleman. He said “The early 70s are still easy to live with but the 80s make you pay the price.” I am finding much truth and wisdom in his adage. Some octogenarians like Max Durst, Jerry Epstein and Bill Feldman seem to improve as they age, but I can only envy them.

The blues come and go, but they never get too far away. The old saying gets truer and truer. “What was, was and is here no more—get used to it.”