Here is what I tell all of my younger friends about getting older:

Once you reach your late 50s/early 60s, what comes at you is not what you imagined. You always think the big three: Cancer. Heart Attack. Parkinson's or some other neurological disease. You didn't see the gall bladder removal; the shoulder replacement; the 2 knees being replaced; the titanium cage being placed in your neck from D3 to T1; the two foot surgeries; the trigeminal neuralgia in the head that feels like some construction worker is standing on your brain - the pain is off the charts; the crippling arthritis pain and the other things that come at you faster than you can imagine.

Despite all of this, I am 70 with flawless, wrinkle-free skin; am often mistaken for being in my late 40s/early 50s; kept the good looks God graced me with and lead an active lifestyle and am blessed with enough work and money to travel when and wherever I want to go. I guess you could say life balances out, somehow. But no one ever prepared me for what being older would actually do to my body.

You move forward because you have to and you ignore the low-level to mid-level pain that is constant beause it is not an anomally anymore, but a constant companion; the friend you never wanted but who sticks around for life, so you make the best of it.

Do I wish things were different, physically? Yes, of course. But I don't have cancer; have a good heart and my blood sugar and cholesterol are low and thank God I don't have Parkinson's or Lou Gehrig's disease or any other number of diseases that some I know do. I feel blessed that modern medicine had parts to spare and plenty of titanium to put in my body when I needed it.

Getting older is all about trade-offs.

Humorist, political junkie, activist, resister

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