I mean...the really big one.
We count our lives in decades, mostly. So, 15 years ago when I turned 50, my husband (with conspiratorial assistance from a friend and our daughter) rounded up a group of friends and surprised me. We celebrated, complete with a lute player. Nice touch.
Then 5 years ago, my husband again arranged, but opted not to surprise me (can't be too careful with older folk, you know) a party. And once again we celebrated. I do love a good celebration.
But neither of these decadal celebrations was really THE BIG ONE. Today is. Yes, folks, I turn 65 today. This is the age when people are supposed to retire. Well, I did retire from full time work, but some years earlier, and not at a time of my choosing.
Sixty-five was set as retirement age in the mid-1930s. The reason 65 was picked had to do with that being one of two prevailing ages in use--the other was 70. You can read more of the Social Security history at their website. Of course, as we American live longer and longer, the age at which one can collect full retirement benefits has been pushed back a bit. So, I don't actually begin SS payments until next year.
I have received many well-wishes from friends, and have a lovely round of gifts to celebrate. From my husband, a new computer and a rebuilt computer center. We had wires leading to and from... nothing. Now, all the wires have been cleaned up and the desk looks GREAT.
From my son and his wife, I received a lovely HUGE bouquet of spring flowers--makes the winter day so much brighter.
From our daughter and her husband, an early present when we visited London. They had gotten tickets for all of us to go see a revival of the play Le Misanthrope, Moliere's comedy of manners making fun of high society. The play had been updated to the present, set in modern London. The play was also the stage debut for Keira Knightley.
From Uncle Sam, I got a Medicare card. Yes, it's true--I now qualify for the government run universal health care program that is untouchable in U.S. politics, but yet which too many politicians are falling over themselves these days to say--WE DON'T WANT A GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM...what hypocritical fools.
Would anyone in their right minds REALLY say that what we in this country had the courage and foresight to provide for senior citizens--universal coverage for health care--we should NOT provide for all citizens? For children? unemployed? for ... well, everyone? Really?
(Oops, sorry--I was celebrating a birthday. Step down carefully from soap box.)
Well, the big one has been a pleasant day, thus far.
Sorry to repeat myself, but I will use again the story (whether apocryphal or not) of Ingrid Bergman: They say that when asked how she felt now that she had reached the "advanced" age of 60, Ingrid Bergman replied: "I like it just fine, considering the alternative."
So, I have reached the big one...and I like it just fine.