Sloan Column: Ready or not, 59 here I come

on Monday, 11 January 2021. Posted in Columns, Opinions

Sloan Column: Ready or not, 59 here I come

If you’re reading this on the day it was published, then tomorrow is my birthday. At least according to my momma it is. Uncle Sam says otherwise, but that story’s been shared here before so there’s not need to go down that road again. 

When the clock strikes midnight tonight I will officially be 59 years old. It’s sad, but so very true. And if that’s not bad enough, this time next year I will be – and I can’t believe I’m actually writing this – 60. Good lord, it just doesn’t seem possible. 

I won’t lie to you. The idea of being 60 scares the hell out of me. I’m not really sure why, but it does. I am aware that age is really just a number. You’re as young as you feel, right? At least that’s what everyone says. The truth is, I do feel a little older and am keenly aware of more wrinkles (and more unsightly hair sprouting from my ears and nose) each time I look in the mirror. I don’t move as fast and there’s a much bigger hitch in my giddy-up. 

Still, I consider myself to be in decent shape physically for someone my, ugh, age. I’ve taken pretty good care of myself, so falling apart once the warranty expires isn’t really an issue. I’m pretty sure my warranty expired a long time ago anyway. 

So what’s the problem, you ask? Let me try to explain. 

When you turn 60, that sound in your head you are hearing is mortality knocking on the door and saying, “Hey man, what’s up? I was just in the neighborhood and figured I’d drop in.” 

When you cross the six-decade threshold there’s no denying the fact that you are old. You can’t just toss all the mail from AARP in the trash thinking, “I’m not that old yet.” The sad reality is, yes, you are in fact “that old.” 

Turning 60 also means its time to schedule another colonoscopy, so you can be sure to add that to the things I’m not looking forward to list. 

Stop and think about it for a second. When you are in your teens you can’t wait to be 20 – well, 21 actually. Things change when you reach your twenties. You dread getting older and the battle against time truly begins. The thought of turning 30 seems nightmarish. As your 40th birthday nears you start counting more and more gray hairs and discover you are – gulp! - far more like your parents that you realized. 

There’s a reason all the favors for 50th birthday parties are black in color. Reaching the “Big 5-0” is a pretty significant milestone so a celebration is in order, but it's an “enjoy it while you can moment” because the realization that it’s all downhill from here begins to set in. 

At 60, you realize retirement is just a few years away and you are nowhere near financially ready for it. You’re just two short years away from collecting Social Security, if there’s any left. You make sure the kids know where your life insurance policy information is located, just in case. 

Yes, the idea of being 365 days short of having lived 60 years does not sit well with me. I’m not ready for senior citizens discounts. I fully understand the alternative to growing old is not so great, but I’m not going down without a fight. I’ll grow older, but I refuse to grow up. 

I plan on making this last year in my fifties as memorable as possible. I’m still trying to figure out what I plan to check off the bucket list. Last year it was skydiving. There’s no telling what adventures lie in wait for someone 59 years young like me. 

- - - 

I received an email from Gale Dixon this past week. She wanted to clarify the information I shared with you in last week’s column about the Dixon Drug Company. 

“My husband’s father, Dr. Lawrence R. Dixon, Jr. purchased a drug store owned by Dr. Joe Ben Reeves, started in 1938, at 139 South Dargan St., called Reeves DrugStore,” Ms. Dixon wrote. “Dr.Dixon purchased in 1947 andrenamed the drug store DixonDrug Company. He later purchased the building at 160South Dargan St. and movedDixon Drug Company acrossthe street. 

“Dr. and Mrs. Dixon bothdied in 1976. My husband,Lawrence R. Dixon, III, inherited Dixon Drug Company in1976, and we later incorporated the store as Dixon DrugCompany, Inc. He was president and treasurer, and I wasvice president and secretary. 

“We operated Dixon DrugCompany until 2009, when wesold our prescription files andinventory to Target Pharmacy.Dixon Drug Company was inbusiness from 1947 to 2009.”

Thanks, Gale, for settingthe record straight. 

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