Seven Tee Three

Since I started blogging in 2009, it has been traditional to post something here on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog for my birthday, which is today.  May 20, 1944.   A long time ago.  A long scroll down the list of years when you are required to provide your birthdate online.   A very different time and place than I inhabit at Seven T Three. I spent my first year living with my Mom and grandparents while Dad served in Italy, then in a bud 1950smodest apartment in New Haven, Connecticut.   If I look at my life now, I’d have to say we didn’t have much but I had a loving, attentive family and lots of friends. According to firsthingsfirst.org,  Recent scientific research has shown that the connections needed for many important, higher-level abilities – like motivation, self-regulation, problem solving, communication and self-esteem – are formed in these early years. Or not formed. And it’s much harder for these essential brain connections to be made later in life.   When I was five, I told a neighbor I wanted to be a nuclear physicist, so I guess those first five years served me well.  Thank you, Mom and Dad.

So, how does it feel to be Seven T Three?   I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel old but I don’t feel any older than I did yesterday.   Perhaps that is because my wife and I are celebrating in a luxury condominium on Kaanapali Beach, Maui, and I am writing this sitting on the balcony to the sound of the waves on the sand.   There has been too much drama in our lives lately and this has been a lovely escape.  My body insists on reminding me that it is getting older.   It seems like there is a new ache or minor injury every week.  This week, it’s a case of tennis elbow in my left arm. No, I don’t play tennis.   And I’m right handed.  Just a little reminder that I’m seventy-three.   I forget more than I used to … names are harder to recollect and I can’t play name that tune like I used to but my brain seems to function well enough that I’m still functioning as a consultant in Electrical Engineering.   I still have the Love of My Life by my side and I have a cadre of wonderful friends.   My children keep giving me a chance to improve as a parent and I think I’m making some progress.   And I have three of the most beautiful grandchildren on the planet.

In travelling from my first five years to the last five, I’ve learned that while material success and things make aging easier, it is the appreciation of the beauty in life that makes it fulfilling. The smile of my wife across the table. A grandchild nestled beside me. A small bird on the feeder in the yard or a Maui sunset for my birthday. Tomorrow, I may be complaining about being Seven T Three but for today, I’m a happy old fart.

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