On the 12th of December I will officially be finished with my 50’s decade. That’s right; I am turning 60 years old on that day. A good friend of mine told me on the occasion of my 50th birthday that the good news about turning 50 is that I hadn’t died in my 40’s. Ditto for turning 60, I guess.
Another good quote that I have heard about the aging process has been attributed to many different sources but when I heard the quote for the first time it was from the famous baseball pitcher, Leroy “Satchel” Paige who, at the young age of 59 years pitched four innings for Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Athletics in 1965, said, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were? Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.” I like how you think Satch!
The date on your birth certificate is only one factor in determining age. Yes, one’s age number is the recorded time you have been on Earth since your birth but many other elements come in to play when determining age; the most important of which would be genetics.
I only have to look at the differences in ageing between my Dad and my Mom to see the hard evidence of that. Dad had a long history of heart ailments and passed away at the relatively young age of 72. To me, Dad looked closer to 90 years old than to 70 when he passed. Mom, on the other hand, always looked a decade younger than her age, just like her mom, and she still referred to her age-peers as “old fogies” right up until her death at 91 years old. I’m hoping that the majority of my genetics come from my mother’s side for obvious reasons. Time will tell.
I wasn’t the only one born in 1956 so I’ll give you a list of some notable people who share their birth year with me. Actors Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Andy Garcia and Maureen McCormick, (Marcia, Marcia, Marcia from the Brady Bunch for those of you who weren’t a teenage boy in 1970). Sports stars Joe Montana, Larry Bird, Martina Navratilova, Sugar Ray Leonard and Bjorn Borg were also born in’56, just to name a few.
1956 was also the year of the Hungarian Revolution which was a revolt against the government of the Hungarian People's Republic and its Soviet-imposed policies. Over 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Soviet troops were killed in the conflict, and 200,000 Hungarians fled as refugees. These events greatly affected a number of people of Hungarian heritage in
many of which were living in the Bekevar-Kipling area. Canada
Other notable events from 1956 were: Elvis Presley’s first pop single “Heartbreak Hotel” was released, Rocky Marciano, the heavyweight boxing champion retired undefeated at 49-0, IBM releases the first computer with a hard drive, the board game Yahtzee first came out, Certs, the first breath mint candies hit the market and stats showed that 80% of American homes had refrigerators by 1956. 80%?...wow.
The average price of a home was $22,000.00; the average income was $4,400/year; a new car would set you back about $2,000.00; gas sold for .22 cents a gallon; bread was .18 cents a loaf and a postage stamp cost .03 cents; coffee was .69 cents a pound, chuck roast was .33 cents a pound and a six pack of beer cost $1.20. Hmmmm.
My philosophy is to enjoy every day one is given in life and my age crises came and went a long time ago. The most important day is the one you are living. 60 is 60 and like Satchel says, if you don’t mind, it don’t matter. I am grateful for another day, another week, another month, another year or another decade, and, God willing, there will be other significant birthdays to celebrate for me down the road.
“Live your life and forget your age.”-Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993).