Golden Years

174857103v1_225x225_FrontI'm 57 today. That's old. It sounds old and it looks old. As a matter of fact, 57 only looks good on  the label of a Heinz's ketchup bottle.

Turning 57 is an actuarial wake-up call. There's no denying that, statistically speaking, I'm much closer to the end than the beginning. But, to add insult to injury, there are lots of other signs that Father Time is breathing down my neck. To wit:

– An attractive young lady in a bar smiles at me, walks up and whispers in my ear, 'Excuse me sir. But is anyone using that stool next to you? We'd like to borrow it." (Note: sir = elderly).
– A friend shows my photo to her friend who responds by saying, “My, he's rather distinguished looking, isn't he?” (Note: distinguished looking = dissipated. Sean Connery is distinguished looking. I do NOT want to be called distinguished looking.).
– An otherwise intelligent intern tells me she's never heard of a DeLorean or the 'Back to the Future' movies. (Note: it's no fun to be surrounded by a whole new generation of employees who are clueless about ANYTHING that occurred before 1990).

That carnage aside, I'm absolutely loving 57. In fact, I think I've crammed more living in the past five years than I had in the previous 52.

'They' say experience is one advantage that comes with aging. But, they rarely mention another less obvious, but more important, value-add: freedom.

I'm now totally free to take risks and try things that would have been unthinkable 10, 20 or even 30 years earlier. They include performing improvisation and stand-up comedy, as well as rock, ice and mountain climbing. Toss in some long-distance cycling, gyrotonic ( and devising brand new Peppercom service offerings and you'll have an inkling of just how free I feel at such an advanced age.

I've been blessed. But, I've also embraced risk.

In fact, I now understand what David Bowie meant when he sang in 'Golden Years': 'Don't let me hear you say life's taking you nowhere.'

There are two ways to go through life: you take life or life takes you. You're either a driver who take risks and isn't afraid to fail or you're a passenger who blames others when your dreams don't come true.

Whether you're 27, 37, 47 or 57, do yourself a favor and get behind the wheel as soon as possible. You never know. It might just end up being a mint condition DeLorean and you might just end up having the time of your life.

Make the most of your golden years. They'll be over before you know it.

16 thoughts on “Golden Years

  1. Sorry, but we disagree. That used to be the case, but re-read Fleming’s books and you’ll see how Daniel Craig really comes closest to the Bond character. There’s a new world order of movie James Bonds:
    1) Daniel Craig 2) Sean Connery 3) Pierce Brosnan 4) Timothy Dalton 5)Roger Moore 6) George Lazy-Boy, er…Lazenby
    I rank Roger Moore above Lazenby because Moore is at least a pleasantly self-effacing man about his acting limitations and did keep the franchise alive through seven movies; “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Live and Let Die” are decent movies. Not Bond movies, but decent.

  2. No way, Jose, PEngelinNYC. Sean Connery WAS James Bond. His successors are pale imitations. Roger Moore was horrendous.

  3. WAITER: “Shaken or stirred, sir?” BOND: “Do I look like I give a damn?”
    On a Rome to NYC flight Tuesday, I watched “Dr. No” and “Casino Royale” back to back. I’d never seen the latter. I gotta say that Daniel Craig rules among Bonds.

  4. Happy Birthday, RepMan. I wish I could share your enthusiasm for aging. But the workplace keeps reminding me that youth trumps experience. So what are we to do?

  5. Nice to seeing you feel so good about aging, RepMan. You’re in a good place. I agree about the sense of freedom, which in itself is very energizing. And hey, just because the young woman called you ‘sir’ doesn’t mean she didn’t think you look good.

  6. Why thank you, PengelinNYC. The name is Cody. Steve Cody. And I’ll have a vodka martini, shaken not stirred.

  7. Happy Birthday SIR!
    I must say that you do look better than Sean Connery did at 57. And as Fernando used to remind us, it’s better to look good than feel good!

  8. “You say it’s your birthday…we’re gonna have a good time…happy birthday to you.” — John Lennon and Paul McCartney

  9. A positive twist on your use of Heinz 57: lots of variety creates a rich life. Can’t say you’re not squeezing every drop out of the bottle.

  10. Great blog Steve and perspective on life.
    You can look at it from their perspective, too, and at least she showed some respect by calling you sir. She could have totally ignored you and just grabbed the chair. But at least she was courteous which is rare in today’s society.
    You talk about “experience with aging.” I believe there is so much “wisdom” that the older generation has that can be shared with today’s youth. And
    it’s up to them to grasp onto it.
    Like the saying goes Repman, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.” So be sure to use a large roll.
    Have a splendid day. All the best, Greg

  11. Well done old man, well done. Having not known you for all of these last five years, I can only attest that I too subscribe to the try new things, risky or otherwise, at my advanced age of 51 but I love the motto about making the most of these years. It is true, we are free. Here’s to the next 25 (I’m being realistic here).