Living in bonus time
A few months ago I celebrated my 60th birthday, well to be honest, I didn’t really celebrate. The truth is after so many birthdays you don’t celebrate your birthday as much as you kind of notice that it’s your birthday. Since then I’ve started noticing something else, something new about the way the world treats you when your in your 60s and about the way you see the world.
Slowly over the past few months I’ve realized that the world looks a bit different over the top of my reading glasses. I see things differently and, more importantly, I feel differently about what I see these days. It has occurred to me that, at long last I honestly don’t care what anyone else thinks about me and I have never felt better!
I’ve often claimed that I didn’t care what other people thought of me, but I realize now that there has always been some measure of concern for being nice, or being perceived as the international man of mystery that I am … or thought I was. There’s just something about realizing that you’ve already lived longer that you expected to that is quite liberating.
Never in my wildest dreams did I figure I’d be alive and making choices in my sixties! I’m living on bonus time and the rules are different in bonus time! I’m new at this phase of life and every week I push the boundaries a little bit further, its amazing what you can get away with when you truly don’t care anymore!
The other day I was channel surfing and came across a Barbara Streisand movie on the old movie channel. I paused in shock and awe as her gigantic “schnoz” filled my TV screen and wondered aloud why anyone ever thought she should be the leading lady in a movie.
I hereby publicly acknowledge that, though I have sat through many of her movies over the years, I cannot tell you the plot of a single one. I admit that I only watched her movies in because I was coerced to by a wife or a date and I spent the entire time trying to decide if she was cross eyed or if her giant nose just made her seem to be. I’m 60 years old now and I can finally say that out loud.
I’m free now to confess that, while I’d rather take a beating than to go dancing, I have been known to break out a free style dance move in the grocery store when no one is around. That’s what happens when you reach the age that you recognize the grocery store music from your high school days and you just don’t give a damn that your impression of Kevin Bacon dancing in Footloose might scare small children. It’s a whole new kind of freedom.
I went through my closet the other day and threw out over half of my stuff because I’m finally willing to admit that I’m never going to wear any of it again and most of it’s so old that it’s so old that there’s no use in donating it because nobody else would wear it either. Now I’ve got room in my closet to stash all of my new stuff that I’ll never use!
Now that I’m 60 I’m free to say with a certain degree of authority that the world is going to hell in a handcart! I was alive in the days of Eisenhower, Kennedy, King and the Beatles so I feel very comfortable saying these days of Clinton, Trump, Pelosi and Kanye West are a freak show in comparison. It’s OK, I’m old and nobody’s listening anyway so I can say it.
Ike was the supreme Allied commander and won the war in Europe before being elected as our president; Trump was a reality TV star and in the Pro Wresting Hall of Fame. Ike warned us about the raise military industrial complex, president Trump tweets about fake news. I like Ike.
I’m old enough to have raised my kids, met my grandkids and outlived my life expectancy but I’m still young enough to stir things up and blow my hair back from time to time….and I still have hair! Now I’m going to go ride my bike then have some ice cream because it turns out bonus time is a lot like being a kid again…except there’s no rules and there’s beer! I like bonus time!
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.