Posted by: guinness222 | April 15, 2007

Phase 4 – "The Golden Years"

And as Frank Sinatra croons in the background,…”regrets,..I’ve had a few,..but then again too few to mention”, we begin our journey called Phase 4.
“Stay in a small tight group, please campers, this is all new territory to me as well, and I don’t want anyone lost in this place”

Now why do we call it the “Golden Years”? Easy ’cause if you ain’t got the gold you ain’t gonna see them years! (And I’m serious!)
Up ’til now, the Phase 2- Carefree, wonderful period provided the “Gatorade” to keep out spirits up, give us a boost through tough times, kick our ego’s back up about ten notches and to give us the opportunity to try those things we did back then and tell everyone else (ooops! I mean “lie to everyone else”) about what we had done in life. (“Man back at College we used to go through fifteen cases a beer a weekend, just me and my buddy! And talk about women,….they was like ‘One a day multiple brand vitamins’, oh yeah, I remember it all clear as a bell.”)That was the fuel of Phase 3.
Now entering Phase-4, you get up , look in the mirror and can admit to yourself, that you are full of shit.(This begins about 60 years of life*) But just like a lot of “mutations” I talked about in the Phase I & II blog,… you are ok with it.
(*Note we have changed from “age” to “life” because now that’s what it is, “A life examined”)
From thirty to sixty, that is the real “ME” period. You have all you can do to take care of “ME” and the “ME’s” you’ve come to call your “dearest and nearest”. By 60, your parents are usually gone, (and to quote the great Kurt Vonnegat who died yesterday in New York)..and so it goes. Your kids are “grown” and somewhere in Phases 2 or 3, depending on how you and your “soul-mate” planned your lives,…and so it goes. You’re “best friends from Phase 2 & 3, well,… some have died, some are on they’re third, fourth or fifth marriage, and the ones you still know, they are,…well, just like you,…and so it goes.
Now you are in the real “what do I want out of life” era, and the answer is two-fold. First you want respect. Not the Hollywood Star respect, not the Secretary General of the U.N. respect, not the limo and chaueffer respect,…just the respect of being a human being who got to this point and has tried very hard to provide for thier parents, siblings, children, neighbors and friends, and above all your “soul mate”. (Quick aside; “Soul Mates” are hard to find, hard to really lose despite the human propensity to be f***ing stupid and do f***ing stupid things to each other. I believe a “soul mate” is like life, you are only going to get one. It may take you a number of times to find them, but I believe in a God who will make it happen for you, you will find them,…but YOU have to recognize them!)
Now this period is when the human body wears out, or begins to. A guy you played golf with last year starts showing up at the pub in a wheel chair, if you go to church you begin to see folks you knew ten or fifteen years ago that gave you shit about going to church every Sunday, now they are there in the third pew every week,… and they pray hard. You stop for your daily “pint” and casually ask about a guy that you hadn’t seen for the past month or so,.. “Oh he had a stroke,..he’s in re-hab now. They say he’s doing ok, you’d hardly notice how much he slurs and his right arm will come back to about 60% the doctor told his wife.”
At first you’ll get depressed because that could be you, and you know it! But then after six months to a year you get to be alright with that too,…and so it goes.
But your world is shrinking. Some are dying off, some are moving away to the “retirement” parts of the country, some are moving to the “retirement homes” of the country, and you are simply looking to survive. You don’t care about the new “technology” any more. You haven’t a clue what is new in the “music scene”, you re-discover so many things of your Phase 1 – Growing up era,like playing cards, reading a book, and just plain talking with other people. You can sit and write a “blog” and be honest, because that’s just who you are, how you feel, and what you believe,….and so it goes.
You are still tied to this earth by “the Gold” so it becomes much more important. Decisions have to be made by some as to whether to buy the perscription for the blood pressure, or enough food to eat until the week end. Some hunker down over thier “portfolios” every day to be sure they never have to make those kind of decisions, and yet others just “start a new life”.

Starting a new life is easy at this age. It’s almost like Popeye says “I am whats I am”. It’s too late to make many significant changes in your lot in life, the respect you wanted “back then” is non-existant, if you want to wallow in “pity parties” fine, so what the hell,…start a new life.
Go to work in some little job doing some little something, for some little pay. You get some BIG respect there. Go volunteer and help somebody else who can’t. There ain’t no bigger boost to self respect than that, and after all self respect is the most important kind.
While “old farts” cuddling up on the couch is replulsive to some I defy anyone to tell me, or anyone else, that “cuddling” is not the best medicine for anything, anytime, anywhere, at any age.
Kick back and explore the world, maybe you can’t actually go to the far reaches of the world, but I’d trade the beauty of going there via a book, a film, or a travel-log at that age,… over a case of “Montezuma’s revenge” in the mid sixties!
But then again, remember how a sun rise looked, or a sunset, or azure waters lapping on a snow white beach, or a little hummingbird just hanging in mid-air, or the gentle warmth of the sun in the late afternoon, and the gentle breeze on the porch in the evening. Of course you do, you now know thier importance in life, so see the sunrise, the sunset, the beach, the hummingbird, and feel the breeze. This is the YOU time of your life.
The “you time” is way different from the “me time” the you time is unselfish, honest and best when shared with that “Soul Mate”, a son or daughter, or a grandchild, or just with a friend.
It is a period of transendental movement for you. You will transend yourself, your world, and your age. You will find that you have indeed found what man has sought for the ages.
You have found,… the meaning of life, and you have lived it.

Phase 5 – “Hot damn,…I’m still here. Are you awake Honey?” will be published on Wednesday and will conclude this “blog”.
Back to being just a “blogger” later in the week.

-30-


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