TBO.com, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014
Letter of the Day

Sharing the gift of turning 64

Published:

As an original Beatlemaniac, I enjoyed listening to their song “When I’m Sixth-Four” and remember thinking how old I would be at 64. Well, now that I am quickly approaching that milestone (April 30), I realize that age is just a number and simply another day in this unpredictable journey of life.

So what have I learned along the way? I was told that once you hit 40, it’s all downhill. Time will fly, and you will count months by love bug invasions! How true. Also, annual events such as the Florida State Fair, Gasparilla and the Strawberry Festival, along with baseball, hockey and football seasons. Who needs a calendar? You simply know it’s here and then it’s gone.

The old metabolism is on permanent vacation at 64.

And with age comes wisdom — another gem shared with me in my younger years. Funny how our needs change. I realized I had way too much stuff and started the six-month rule. If I don’t wear it, use it or even look at it in six months, I probably don’t need it. Let it go. Easy for me to say, I know, but in the end, I plan to be cremated. When I look at something with the “do I need this?” look, I remind myself that I can’t take it with me, and if I try, will it make me look fat in my urn?

There are still speed limits higher than 64, and I realized that last Tuesday when I was one of six drivers on I-75 between Fletcher and State Road 56 actually driving the posted speed limit. Gesturing your disapproval of my driving at the posted speed limit in the right lane with the free finger not holding your cellphone will not result in my foot hitting the gas peddle but will allow me to add another soul to my prayer chain — the soul who is your “other half” and must deal with your control issues every day. For your information, speedy, I am not dragging something. I am simply observing the law. Now I’m 64!

Here’s the deal. I realize that I am on the back nine of my golf game of life (or late innings, fourth quarter, third period — pick your sport) and look at each day as a gift. It is a gift that cannot be returned. There are no “do-overs.” We have the responsibility to open this gift, share it with everyone we “share air” with on that day, do good, make a difference, and make the world a better place.

So enjoy the events, activities and, yes, the love bugs. Stop complaining about the weather because it will change. Earn a treat, pass on some “stuff” so others can start their collection, be nice on the road, and above all, be a better person.

That is what I have learned — now I’m 64!

Carolyn Leonard

Temple Terrace

Comments