My brother in Japan called last night (already today for him) to be the first to wish me happy birthday. He commented that now I would be able to go and get a free flu shot. This was a reference to the fact that I am now eligible for Medicare. My “Medicare-approved PPO plan” (Blue Advantage) has been inundating me with mail, including a reminder that among the preventive services I can get for free are not only pneumonia, Hepatitis B, and flu shots, but also bone mass measurement and colorectal screening. How’s that for depressing?
At this point I guess I’m ready to admit to being “middle-aged,” but I am not yet ready to be considered elderly. My grocery store has parking spaces (next to the handicapped spaces) reserved for Senior Citizens. I have yet to use one. Some years ago I saw a woman of my acquaintance, youthful, fit, and dark-haired (the last perhaps artificially) getting out of her car parked in one of these spaces. I remarked on her choice, and she said indignantly, “Well, I am 65 years old!”
I was actually rather surprised, since I hadn’t thought of her as “old,” and I hope that people would feel the same in my case, but I am not about to throw in the towel yet. Yes, I’m a bit arthritic, but walking is good for me; it certainly won’t hurt me to walk a few feet farther. When you see me parking in a Senior Citizen space, you will know I have one foot in the grave.
Congratulations on your birthday.
In Belgium you must retire at the age of 65. Although very slowly things are shifting, politicians are seeing the problem of the age boom, all those people who will retire, the baby boom generation. Heavy burden on our social security system.
Sure is a good thing to walk, keeps you fit. So keep it up. I know people who would park their cars just in front of the shop counter if they could.
Personally, my wife and I just do everything on bycicle or on foot. Only once a week we go to the supermarket.
Happy birthday! And with the threat of swine flu, it’s probably prudent to take any preventive measures are offered, whatever your age.
Hope you enjoy a long weekend of celebration, and enjoy the next half of your life.