This weekend I will celebrate another birthday. This will be the last one beginning with a 6. I have been thinking about birthdays for a few days now. I am not dismayed that I will soon begin my 70th year of life. In fact I am quite pleased. There was a time that I did not believe I would live past 30. I worked the night shift on the flight deck of a Navy Carrier. Hell, there were a few nights on the flight deck that I did not think I would make it to dawn. I did lose a close friend up there one night and I think of Don often and the others that I did not know well who also died on the deck that night.
There are some birthdays that stand out for differing reasons. Sixteen, how I wanted to be 16 and get my drivers license. I remember how badly I wanted my own car. I had to wait almost a year before my Dad told me to get a car. I think he was tired of me beating on his car. This could be why my children all got something to drive at 16. Twenty one was not that big a deal. I was in the Navy and spent at least 6 months of the year in the Med where anyone with the price could drink. In the states I had a false ID.
Thirty was traumatic for me. In fact I went into a funk. The hippies were demonstrating against the Viet Nam war and the establishment. I remember that they were saying that no one over 30 could be trusted. As a veteran, I believed in my country, but I was beginning to doubt the need for that war. I was depressed and not very happy to be 30! I could no longer be trusted. To me this was very definitely middle age and back then I thought half my life was over.
Forty was a different story. The company that I was working for was slated to be sold by the conglomerate that owned us. I had opted not to accept the job offer by the new owners and took the package and joined the unemployed. I was confident that I would be hired as soon as I looked for a job. The family was looking forward to a summer off with dad. The first item was for me to ride my motorcycle to Georgia to visit my Navy buddy. I was riding back to Rhode Island and celebrated my 40th on the road. We all spent the month of August touring everything that was worth seeing in Washington D C. That was a good summer.
The years sped by living life and when I celebrated my 62 nd, the company was downsizing and the packages were very favorable. So 6 days after, I retired. Its been a bitter sweet seven years since I retired. Life is good.
Looking forward, I believe that next year will be a nice milestone (Lord willing). Seventy has a nice ring to it, don't you agree?