Looking Forward . . . to the Past?

Attention!  Attention! I have reached 70!  What’s the big deal, you ask?  Because, that’s an age in life that I never thought I would attain, especially in light of the fact that my father passed away the day after reaching 55.  However, I am still here—and happy  to be so (most days, anyway).  So, what do I do now?  Where do I go from here?  Taurus-2014Well, for starters, just this week I ordered a new tent, a couple of sleeping bags, and a self-inflating air mattress. I know what you’re thinking?  He’s lost his marbles!  And I wouldn’t blame you one bit for drawing that conclusion.  2000004419_heroBut before you pass judgement, or call for a psychiatrist, let me explain the thinking that was behind my latest, somewhat impromptu decision to recapture my youth, to look forward, if you will—to my past.

We’ve all heard the expressions: “70 is the new 50!” or “You’re only as old as you feel!”  Unfortunately, many seniors have not taken those words to heart. While their age continues to advance, their “lives” remain stagnant.   Most fall into the habit of doing the same old things, eschewing change, and clinging instead to old technology and old activities.  How many seniors do you know who refuse to learn how to use a computer, or don’t own a cell phone?  Quite a few, I’d wager.  In some cases, they have also abandoned many of the activities they formerly enjoyed, such as golf, or tennis, or jogging, because of declining physical abilities (in my case, quite a few).  Rather than adopt new activities, however, they willingly allow their world to shrink, and through simple attrition, their circle of friends grows smaller and smaller.  To observers, it seems as if many are just playing out the string, just marking time until their inevitable disappearance from the planet.

But it needn’t be like that at all.  Where is it written that we can’t try new activities, find new hobbies to replace the old ones, or make new friends?  By the age of 70, many of us feel that we’ve pretty much done what we set out to do with our lives (I only use that number as a personal point of reference—for others, the number could be higher—or, sadly for some, lower).  If we haven’t achieved all those lofty goals we set for ourselves when we were young, we shrug our shoulders and say “Hey, that’s life!  So be it.”  (I must confess that that had become my mindset, ever since passing the age of 65—that is until about ten months ago, when God decided to shake things up by gifting me with a granddaughter, just prior to my 70th birthday.  Her name is Abigail, and she has changed my life for the better—more than I could ever have imagined.  I feel alive again, and I am definitely headed forward—to my past!

iPhoneIn preparation for the “big event,” I obtained a “smart” phone, something I vowed I would never own.  I chose an iPhone™, since, according to my three sons and my daughter, no other cell phone would do.  (I had resisted the temptation to purchase one for years, clinging desperately to my outdated flip phone, for fear of the intrusion the new device would undoubtedly bring about.)  Well, if having the smiling face of my Abigail greeting me on a Saturday morning during a FaceTime™ session qualifies as an “intrusion,” then I say “Great!”  Now, instead of carrying a wallet filled with photos of my granddaughter, wrapped in a rubber band, I just tap my new phone’s screen a few times, and instantly overwhelm friends (and unwitting strangers) with an endless display of pictures—and videos, too, complete with sound.  

Yours truly in 1981

Yours truly in 1981

But those aren’t the only changes that have occurred.  Suddenly, I find myself watching movies and reading books on mountain climbing again, a subject that interested me greatly back in my 20s. I’ve purchased trekking poles (not for show, but because I need them), and returned to hiking in the woods.  Hell, I even find myself  looking for 5K races to participate in—with an eye out for an “easy” half marathon.  And, of course, there’s that “camping thing” that I’m about to re-engage in, another activity that I had abandoned completely upon entering “old age.”  The newly purchased items are arriving daily (and, of course, I’m “tracking” them on the Internet), and already I feel like I’m 17 again, sort of like a teenager awaiting his driver’s license.

So what’s next?  A bicycle?  I can’t really say.  But the hands of time are spinning wildly—in reverse.  Onward, I say, onward to the past—there’s life to be lived!

FaceTime™ anyone?


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About AuthorJoePerroneJr

I am a former professional fly-fishing guide, and I write the Matt Davis Mystery Series, which presently consists of four books: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day, Twice Bitten, and Broken Promises. The series is set in the real town of Roscoe, NY, in the Catskill Mountains, where I guided for ten years. I love fly fishing, movies, cooking (and eating), and music. To learn more about me and my writing, please visit my website at: http://www.joeperronejr.com.
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12 Responses to Looking Forward . . . to the Past?

  1. Allie P. says:

    Happy Birthday! Facetime is definitely one of the best features of the iPhone. I was able to eat meals with my kids while I was in China and their grandparents get to visit without a lengthy car ride.

    Good for you for getting back into the great outdoors.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. balroop2013 says:

    Hi Joe,

    This post is so refreshing! inspiring indeed! I may not have reached your age of 17 but I have started taking life easy, excitement is limited to playing hide and seek with my little grandchildren but the way they explore all the possibilities of clicking random links on iPad, their little hands have taught me a lot of ambiguous features. I have grown young in their company and hope to continue.
    All my best wishes for your hiking and mountaineering trips.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Balroop. My motto is: What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. (I’m sure someone much better known than me immortalized those words, but in my case, they definitely apply.) I had a great overnighter yesterday, and look forward to many more! I feel a bit like Benjamin Button… LOL. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • A point of clarification: I did not just reach 70. Actually, I turned 70 on March 31st of this year. It was more of an attention grabber, rather than a statement of exact fact. Sorry if I implied that I was just celebrating that momentous occasion (and thanks to all of you who wished me happy birthday, albeit it belatedly . . . lol).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks a million! I did! How can you beat listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, as you eat breakfast by the side of a trout stream? You can’t! 🙂

    Like

  4. Few make the decisions and take the actions you have shown us here. I am with you up to but not including 5K running. I can deny my 73 years until my knees remind me why I gave up running years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mozeltov, Joe! Haven’t you heard? 70 is the new 50. Yep. Take it from a 73-year-old. 😀

    Like

  6. Thoughts are things! Create in your mind what you wish to be, adjust it a little for any physical or mental limitations that may have arrived uninvited, and live today! Today’s journey will be even better than yesterday’s because, as we age, we live wisdom instead of just seeking entertainment and knowledge. We seek to see and know the beautiful images that God has placed all around us, in our homes, on the smiles we create upon the faces of others, in the great outdoors, and even memories recorded forever on smartphones. Life is to live, boss! No doubt about that! Smiles!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. davidprosser says:

    Good for you Joe. Have a ball.
    Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

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