Yesterday I stopped running on the circle in my cage, and looked around. All the complaining on Friday wanting to stay in bed wasn't the reason, the frozen sidewalks and road (no running down the street) weren't the reason. Nope, I stopped because I was now sixty years old. In Asia where they still consider their dead ancestors important they celebrated the elders that reached sixty - hard work in those rice fields and climbing those mountains and toting that bale, not everyone made it to sixty. It is a big day to get all the family and village together and pay honor to the one that made it. I got a chocolate cake for breakfast with two candles (60) and my son called over the computer in live video and we talked, I had email and I got cards and gifts but mostly I spent my day alone and trying to reconcile my financial program ending last year before I start taxes, anyone seen the tax forms for 2007 yet? not I.
But mostly alone I was looking at my life and making it to sixty, and remembering those that didn't, a couple of childhood friends, one killed by a bear, one killed by cancer of the blood, Rim Dungey from California didn't make it out of Vietnam alive, his name is on the Wall, Oliver did what he loved for years and cancer got him twice, the last time for keeps, Wes did what he loved and is remembered well for it, same end - second time on cancer and he didn't win, I heard he said "It takes so little to be happy." Ah, you can't sell that idea, it is too true. So I get to sixty and get to remember them and who they were when I knew them best and I will never be sure why it wasn't me instead of them. The Sun did break through the clouds and the ice and water dried out, I did go jog for an hour two minutes and twenty-two seconds, smiling.
Today in the library I open a new magazine and see "Forty is the new Thirty" and I have to laugh out loud - it wasn't a sixty year old, writing that article, was it? Ah, I am back on the wheel whirling along, still smiling and remembering sometimes those that I don't see around anymore, in the backrooms of my heart.