Eighty really is the new sixty.
Think about it, turning eighty is a milestone of course, but it also tells a story of its own. Being eighty means that you are a walking encyclopedia of the good times that were had along the sometimes curvy yet sure path to a new era.
Anyone in that age group has plenty of battle scars earned by living through tough, sometimes extremely tough times but somehow those were the times ( often reviewed paradoxically as their best times ) that molded their character with an inner strength that they discovered in themselves. .
Life was less complicated and dare I say much more fun and enjoyable then, and those fortunate enough to have straddled the divide between the pre and post Internet times have the best of both worlds. What those in their twenties only experience through a myopic and rather distorted looking glass of a search engine, an octogenarian had the privilege to experience first hand.
Just about anyone who is on the westward side of sixty has that comforting ability to deflate most pumped up problems of those on the eastern side of sixty. Problems, what problems? When you have experienced the perils of living through a war, the only important mainstay of any life is that
you have a life and enough food to sustain it.yes, it might sound simple, but when you stop and think about it, those two seemingly minor facts are the be all and end all of a good life. If more of us were to imbibe the comforting aura of anyone westward of sixty, most of our perceived obstacles to what we think is a life worth achieving, would be felled in their track.
With an almost ruthless honesty, they can illuminate the faulty fabric of our lifestyle and show the many holes in it and make us see the futility of striving for that lifestyle in the first place.
It was Albert's ( my step-dad ) eightieth birthday yesterday and it was an open house for all and sundry to drop by. Cakes, platters of local delicacies, schnapps and wines were making the tables groan with the added weight.
Our village has the most delightful tradition as you cross over to being called an authority on history. The mayor and dignitaries come to your house to wish you good fortune and take copious pictures of the event. A special mayoral letter is printed too. It starts at eighty and every subsequent half decade the walls get filled with more. Nice.
Living in a small village like ours, makes it extra special to celebrate the big milestones. Friends, family and neighbours drop in for either a quick cup of coffee ( schnapps too depending on the time of day ) or they stay for a leisurely and delightful afternoon. A table filled with more than vittles, a table filled with laughter, good cheer and friends.
Of course the birthday boy was extremely thrilled each time the phone rang ( and it was often ) as his family and friends who live a bit further away, were wishing him a happy birthday. Albert was beaming from ear to ear all evening.