Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Big One

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.

11 comments:

Climenheise said...

Happy Birthday, dear sister! 65 years of magnificence! May the year ahead be full of joy and contentment.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Happy Birthday! May you have good health and exciting adventures while looking forward to the next BIG ONE, 90. :)

You are so lucky to have family to make a fuss over you on these occasions.

Anvilcloud said...

Many congratulations to you. Sometimes I wonder why numbers like 65 are better than 64 or 66 say, but that's just the way it is.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

You have now reached the age of some really great wines! There are probably a dozen catchy little analogies to be drawn from that…but I'll restrain myself and simply wish you the best of health and joy and good work during the year ahead. I look forward to your posts and emails.

possumlady said...

Again (since I left a greeting on FB), Happy, Happy Birthday Donna!

To jump off the birthday bandwagon for a second, can you imagine if we didn't have Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid and were debating whether to adopt them? They would NEVER get passed in this current political climate.

Ginnie said...

Well...you and I are both Aquarians. My birthday is Monday so I see we both miss being Valentines. Enjoy your day and Happy 65th ... I wish I could say the same ! I can't believe that I will be 77...

Jayne said...

A happy belated birthday Donna! Sounds like it was a good one, and your gifts are lovely. I figure it's really just a number, right? I know a LOT of really OLD 50 year old people and many really YOUNG 80 year old folks as well. ;c)

NCmountainwoman said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I got a card on my last birthday that said, "You are not old until you run out of birthdays." So here's to many more happy birthdays to you.

Molly said...

Oh - I hope you had a lovely celebration and can view this as just the beginning of another - more glorious phase of life.

Ruth said...

Happy Birthday Donna! and welcome to a new chapter of life. You should enter politics as a new career.

jeanmac said...

Sorry to be late wishing you happy birthday! You are as young as you feel and I'm sure you don't look or act 65!!! Love Jean