How Old Would You Be if You Didn't Know How Old You Was?
That's a damn good question, Mr. Satchel Paige. In fact, it's a valid question for those of us who have remained extremely active into our middle years.
I turn 47 tomorrow. 47. Four decades plus most of another.
And Satchel Paige's question is a good one. I'm at a point in my life where I don't pay much attention to my age. There are some reminders—like the damn presbyopia and the now-resolved osteoarthritis—but I generally feel great physically and content emotionally.
So as my 47th year approaches, I'm faced with a life in which many major changes are afoot. Americans believe life should be easy or, at least, stable by the time you reach my age. I know better. Life is unpredictable. Humans are unpredictable. Swells are unpredictable.
I'm not a great believer in stasis. Things change. One gets older and less inclined to accept the status quo, particularly when the status quo does little to contribute to her happiness. On the eve of my 47th birthday, I'm making difficult decisions that will make it hard to be full of birthday cheer. Nevertheless, I make them with my eyes open . . . as we all should by the time we reach this age.
Actually, I don't know how old I'd be if I didn't know how old I was. I'm just happy that I will be able to have a birthday surf for the first time since 2007. In 2008, I was on the injured reserve list with an injury to my right knee. In 2009, I was back on the injured reserve list because of the replacement of my left knee. I will be surfing on my birthday in 2010.
I like where I am and who I've become. I suppose I'd tell Mr. Paige that we'd just have to take a look at my birth certificate in order to determine my actual age and that I'm happy to be the age I am . . . reading glasses and all.