In many ways, 65 is just another birthday. But it certainly calls to mind an old joke, used to talk about how remote a town or a house is, when you’d say, “it’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from there.”
Sixty-five is the last milestone on the road to the end of life.
There have been a lot of others along the way, some memorable and worth looking forward to, like turning 16 when I became old enough to drive a car or 21 when I became a man. But soon after passing those early signposts, the next few became less and less desirable indications of progress.
To someone of my generation, the mind set about them went something like this. There was 30, after which no one could be trusted, and then 40, the so-called beginning of middle age, at which some promised that “life begins.”
Fifty carried no particular popular perception, but at that age one could officially join AARP. So I did. I wanted to taste the experience for one last time of being the youngest member of an organization. It seems like it was only yesterday.
And now today, I pass the last signpost. The next one is made of stone and will have, not just a beginning date, but an ending one too.
Sixty-five is not the end of life … but you can sure see it from here.