On Turning 69: So Much Younger than 70?

MyselfRecently I celebrated my 69th birthday. My daughter and her (now our) friends took me out to a fancy restaurant, had the waiters do their birthday act, and brought presents for me to open at the table. It was the most special birthday I have had since I was 16 and my father danced with me!

But I have to admit that there is a little psychological trick that the mind does with those decade markers. To be 69 definitely feels much younger than to be [OMG!] 70! When I am 70 I will be OLD–until I have been 70 for a while, and then I will think that 80 is old. It is the same trick that some adman dreamed up to make prices that are just 1¢ less than a whole dollar seem a LOT less expensive.

Does anyone remember when things were still priced in numbers that matched our most-used currency? Things did not cost 49¢, 99¢, $1.99, or (that horror) $99.99. They were 50¢, $1, $2, or $100, and that seemed a lot more honest. Storekeepers didn’t have to keep a drawer full of pennies for change, and it made the arithmetic much simpler.

While I am at it, when did the 0.9 creep into the price of gasoline? And on most service station signs, this little 9 is so small that you can barely see it. That is intentional, I am sure. Our brains do not move up to the next whole cent. We believe we are paying $2.69 per gallon, and not $2.70 minus 1/10 of a cent.

Well, it never bothered me so much to be turning 30 or 40 or even 50 that I would claim to be 29, 39, or 49 for as many years as I could get away with. I knew that I looked too young to be my real age, and I enjoyed having people tell me so when I told the truth about my age. (Good skin and a pleasant smile, there.) I still don’t feel almost 70 unless I overdo the exercise, and then I can hardly move for 3 days. When I dream, I always seem to be about 40, for some reason. That’s how old I feel inside, I think. It’s a good, comfortable age, 40: wise enough, yet not set in my ways (though I had to turn 50 before I was able to risk everything to change a situation that I felt trapped in.)

Happy Birthday to me! I am happy to be here, healthy and mentally fit, with some limitations. I don’t know what is ahead or how many more years are left, but I believe I will be as blessed as I have been up to now with good parents (both gone now), good friends, God’s grace, and a loving family. What more do I need?


Author: b4i4get

I am a 68-yo retired Physical Therapist Asst. living in Texas. Currently I have ~5 dozen webpages, including 3 homepages, an e-novel, and 1 blog. I love cats, writing, and thinking about the big questions. I am also a singer-songwriter, though no one has heard of me--yet.

7 thoughts on “On Turning 69: So Much Younger than 70?”

  1. Hey there you with the pleasant smile and the good skin. Happy birthjday!

    I really appreciate the numbers game you were playing am also a player of these.

    Not only are you blessed with good family and friends but also with a great talent for music and composing funny songs.

    You are a delight to your friends. Count us as part of them.

    Jim and Ursula

  2. HAPPY, ALL BE IT LATE, BIRTHDAY LAST ROSE OF SUMMER (I like that moniker!). You are right, you don’t look your age. Keep busy and keep having fun. Laughter will keep you young, too.

  3. Dear Kaye,

    Wishing you a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I can tell you about 80 🙂 It is the one I dreaded, but after the day is over you go back to feeling young again and being grateful you are still here because each day is a gift. I think all of your interests will help keep you young. You look great!!

    Warm birthday hugs,
    Ash xxoo

  4. I would have to say that the decade of my 50s was the most productive, turbulent, and decisive of my entire life. I found out more about who I was, that I really wanted to be independent, and that there was a type of work that I was good at that would provide the means to become independent–if I just kept on believing in myself, and was not afraid to ask for help when I needed it.

  5. Kaye,

    I have become quite a fan of your blog (with the few moments that can be grabbed for Internet access). You have found and are sharing with me a peace that I’m hoping to attain, someday.

    In the meantime, glimpses of this serenity are here for me to see via “Ideas, Insights, & Intuitions” . . .

    Viv 😀

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