If you consider gray hair or feeling random aches in one’s joints to be signs of age, Dexter, Comet and I are potentially “senior citizens”. However, Dexter is the fittest one of us, and has the most energy on a walk – at least for the first twenty minutes. Comet’s muzzle is graying, but otherwise he remains just a little on the chunky side of fit. As for me, their dog-man, my birthday today declared to the world that I am a sixty-two year old. If I consider my age in dog-years, eleven or twelve is not all that foreboding. Two of my late mother’s dogs lived healthily to seventeen and nineteen. Comet, possessing a little of their greyhound breed’s genes may have at least half a decade of walks ahead.
At eleven and likely thirteen years of age respectively, I think my furry pals are senior citizens, but I am not willing myself to wear that label. Sixty-two is the new Fortyish, or so I think. I have a paternal family member who lately turned ninety and still has the vigor and sharp wit of someone half her age. She remains active. It may be spending time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that became her retirement plan. I left my corporate job a couple years ago; when people ask me how “retirement” living is going, I gently persuade them that I have not yet “retired”. Working for ourselves now, my wife and I enjoy a more leisurely schedule. It is generally a half-day, a few days per week. As for routine, our dogs enjoy cool summer morning walk on the days we aren’t working, followed by a little breakfast and a mid-day nap. We regroup in the early evening to take another walk.
On those same days we often help our daughter-in-law by bringing our grandson over to the house while she runs an errand. Entertaining a three-year old helps both my wife and I continue an active lifestyle. Though I should use the exercise equipment we have in a spare bedroom to stay fit, most of my activity is running back and forth with Zander, as he plays with toys we have stocked in “his” playroom. Exercise in the form of deep knee-bends, squats, rising from or getting down to sit on the floor with him, keeps the blood flowing to muscle and sinews. And napping? Like the dogs, after a few hours of play, Pop-pop and Mam-mam are ready for a little nap ourselves.
To the younger folks, naps may be a sign of aging just as the “crown of silver” hair suggests , but if age is a state of mind, I still feel young. Dexter is not slowing down yet. Comet is still eager to go everywhere with him. Zander still wants his grandfather to keep up. And a granddaughter soon entering the world means I must put “senior” thoughts back where they belong – on the shelf where my “Senior Chief” Navy retirement plaque sits.
It is not yet time to be “old”.