Monday, November 17, 2008

Q: How do you know when you are old?

A: When all the of baseball players, most of the police officers and The President of the United States are younger than you.

I’ve been thinking about my age for a while. I am counting down my remaining years in the workforce from a number somewhere between fifteen and twenty-- fifteen if things look good, most likely twenty if the economy continues going the way of the dodo.

I lay in bed at night pondering a time when I won’t exist as I presently know existence. I, all the memories, anxieties and technologies gathered over a lifetime, will be gone. From what I can gather, there will be no "there" there, no more "me" as me.

Earlier on life was a Never Ending Story. Now I experience it as a collection of chapters with beginnings, middles and ends.

I saw the World Trade Center go up. I saw it come down. I’ve been to Woodstock. I remember the Cub Scout uniform that I was wearing the Friday that Kennedy was shot. I’ve lived through a lot of people being shot. Each is a story in itself.

I remember gas shooting up to 73 cents a gallon in 1973. Today it is a bargain at $2.45.

I can still imagine the sound of a room full of typewriters.

I remember Black Monday in 1987. It didn’t really matter then. I didn’t own any stock and didn’t have a 401K. I just put money in a savings account. That was then, this is now. I’ve grown up. I do own stock and I do have a 401K. If things keep going as is, both will provide me with a comfortable “retirement” for about two weeks.

I’ll probably keep coding into my seventies, if I can keep up and the carpal tunnel doesn’t incapacitate me. Otherwise I’ll become a greeter at Ralph’s, a fate worse than death according to a financial planner that wanted my money back in the nineties.

I've made it to the top of the hill. From here I can see the dock from which the ship departs for the Great Beyond. And yet I still worry about what is to become of me.

But, as we learned out in the terrain: We come in alone. We go out alone. We pack in a bunch of people, pets and things in the middle. The people and pets matter more. The Past is but a memory, the Future is but a dream. All that we really have is Today, with or without a bailout.


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