Sunday, September 11, 2016

Waste Not Want Not: Memo to Self

Pondering 75 at 75

Looking at 75 through a long lens it seemed like it should be an epic event and a national holiday. Then as it drew near it shed its self-importance and became just another day albeit a good one. 75 after all is something everybody achieves if they live long enough. Big whoop. Can't take a lot of credit for it. Saturday I had a blue moment that I can only attribute to the recognition that I’ve lived three quarters of a century and that my kid is nearing 50. It’s enough to make an old man weep.

I got up this morning, chugged a cup of joe and slogged through an eight mile run, the kind you time with a calendar. Felt good all things considered. The osteoporosis symptomless. The full thickness cartilage loss unnoticeable. The back a little cranky but tolerable. Enjoyed brunch with a view and a Bloody Mary, the first in probably 20 years. Later a couple of steaks and monster bakers accompanied by a Reidel or three of 94-point vin rouge will complete the ensemble. The message: Enjoy each day to its fullest. Oui?

And I don’t want to lament the things I haven’t done but to see the event as a call to action and to waste no days. The list is long of things I want to do, see and experience and, as the wise man says, it’s not getting sooner.

The old bucket list needs some refinement, too. I have been tweaking the same old list for a decade. Those who know me can testify that publishing the sheep book The Last Shepherd has ranked high on the dreaded list for nearly two years. It has somehow lost momentum. Has it run its course or is it on hiatus? Then there’s that Spanish windmill that hasn't been properly lubricated. Son of a bitch squeals like a stuck pig. Come November it will be three years since I studied in Guatemala despite pledging to do study somewhere every year and practice daily till I become fluente. It will not be four. Then there's seeing a new (foreign) place each and every year. That hasn't happened since 2014. I'm bereft.

Live a year in a foreign country. Live in a city. Hike hut to hut across France. Rent a Italian villa with friends. Swim the Bosporus. Ride the Tour de France. Ski to the South Pole. Sail around the word. Do ten pull-ups. There's pipedream. I could go on.

25 at Camp Cayuga in the Adirondacks. That's my 180 pound self after a summer of playing 2 man Volleyball and teaching guitar. I  received my Army Reserve discharge during this lark and found myself on the buying end of all the Carling Black Label we could drink.

8 comments:

John Farnsworth said...

I can't imagine running eight miles just to avoid having to blow out a measly seventy five candles!
Welcome to the fold, old timer!
Most kidding aside, with luck, we still have time for a new twenty year career. Now, let's roll up our sleeves and go take a nap!
Happy Birthday, Dude!

j. Madison Rink said...

Congratulations and Happy Birthday, Steve! You seem to have all the symptoms of GREAT! Keep inspiring!

Steve Immel said...

Thanks John and Madison. I'm in for the twenty new years and the nap.

j. Madison Rink said...

Sounds good! And by the way, you're looking quite handsome at 75! Seriously.

Daryl Black said...

75 and at your most eloquent yet. Again, a voice from the loom "That Steve is an eloquent S.O.B." Agreed. Lots of wisdom involved that makes it all the more so. Funny how many of a certain age have bucket lists (or at least spoken/unspoken thoughts) that seem to overlap.

Ditto, John Farnsworth and j. Madison Rink, except there should be a swallow or two of a fine wine before the nap. Hope your celebrations continue for at least a month!

Douglas Maahs said...

Reminded that I was the youngest man at that dinner in Taos a couple of months back, I just celebrated #67. You so eloquently put into words the thoughts I experience as I acknowledge to myself that the future is shorter than the past. Thanks for this wonderful missive.

John Ellsworth said...

The day you turned 75 I was in an ambulance on the way to the UCSD ER where i almost bled to death. Today i'm home, the bleeding repaired, recovering and getting around with a cane (seriously? a cane?). But while i was lying in ICU recovering the thought came to me that i needed to see my old amigo again. I'm on my way, if only in spirit, but one day in body too. Stay well, enjoy another drink of whatever the hell that stuff is (AA 35 years for me, I've missed out on the wine sport that seems to develop in some of you artists), call your kid, kiss your wife. Best, john.

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