By Paul Wahl – SUN NEWSPAPERS
When I was much younger, I couldn’t wait for the new year to dawn with its clean slate and endless possibilities ahead. The world was my oyster. (An extra 50 points for anyone who can identify the origin of this phrase.)
Today, I want my world to be more like a soft-shell crab, to take the nautical theme to another level. The ideal of struggling to reach lofty new heights is less appealing. Heck, I’d just like some hair back on my head.
Obviously there is some excitement as a new year dawns.
Like I’m going to celebrate my 54th birthday here in a couple days, and I still have teeth to chew down my birthday cake. My brain is sufficiently secure that I can still recall my birth date and high points of birthdays past. I am not yet drooling in my pudding.
After 24 years of marriage, I don’t have to concern myself with the dating scene. Although my wife and I have had a weekly “date night” since the first week we were married. So I guess that counts for something. I have discovered that marriage is one thing that does improve with age. Of course, so does cheese.
My eyesight stopped deteriorating this past year. Of course, both eyes are at eight diopters (nearly blind) so that’s not a really great reason to celebrate. I have begun shopping for a seeing-eye dog. Hopefully, he drives better than I do. I wonder how difficult it is to learn Braile.
The hair in my nose grows faster than the hair on my head these days. It’s like fighting a brush fire with a thimble.
My back goes out more than I do.
I’ve got a million of them.
Now I know full well that there are a number of you reading this and commenting to yourself that I’m just a “young whippersnapper.” I am truly amazed by the number 80- and 90-year-olds who faithfully read our publications.
They give me hope that in another 50 years, I’ll still be alive and kicking. Well, alive and breathing, anyway.
I come from a long line of long-livers, at least on my mother’s side. My mom turned 96 in November. She’s probably more excited about 2013 arriving than I am.
Someone once said age is mind over matter – if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. I think I’ll adopt that as my motto for 2013.
Maybe the world is my oyster.
Which, by the way, is from the writings of Shakespeare (hey what do you expect from an English lit major!). “The Merry Wives of Windsor” is perhaps one of the bard’s lesser-known pieces.
Falstaff: I will not lend thee a penny.
Pistol: Why, then, the world’s mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.
Guess I better go find my sword and put an edge on the blade. Oysters, here I come.