Me in Dad's helmet, aged 5
I was going to keep quiet but it would seem that quite a number of people somehow know (thanks for the good wishes guys - you know who you are) that I hit the milestone of 65 last Thursday. Best to get in first and admit it before someone else writes a pack of lies in their blog! In a lot of countries, this officially signifies OLD FART status as it's traditionally (not by law) the time to retire and receive national superannuation courtesy of the government.
Maybe there might have been a bit of introspection had I not deliberately retired at 60, thanks to a very good company superannuation scheme and some investments but at present, I feel quite enthusiastic about frittering the government's forthcoming contribution on wine, women and song! Well, wine anyway..... I can't sing and pursuing hot chicks would see me sucking my meals through a straw in a hospital casualty ward at the very least!
Almost respectable, aged 20 or thereabouts
In all seriousness, I reckon birthday milestones shouldn't really influence how you organise your life. Let me explain.....
Back in 1987 when I was 40, my best friend Alan and I were rising through the management ranks in one of NZ's biggest manufacturing companies. Long hours, good pay, fulfilling careers with the downside being that perhaps we didn't spend as much time with our young families as we should - the classic dilemma. Then everything changed.
Early one evening, we got a phone call from the police. Alan had lost his life in a car accident and would I please go with them straight away to break the news to his family. Putting it simply, having to do something like that once in your lifetime is once too many. I won't dwell on the incident but the impact was profound and from then on, the focus dramatically changed to never putting anything off in life so that we never had to say the dreaded words, "If only..........". Since then, Jennie and I (and our kids) have gone out of our way to do all sorts of stuff and experience different things from pursing personal and shared interests, through to a bit of community voluntary work. We've kept ourselves pretty busy but that doesn't matter at all when what you do is fulfilling and enriching. And importantly, we've had fun and laughed a lot - particularly at ourselves!
In my late 50's - bottom of the South Island on the
Southern Cross round NZ in 5 days endurance ride
Out on the town celebrating last Thursday
- both of us have the giggles!