75 And Counting

Eleven months ago I published a piece in which I noted that I couldn’t believe how fast 2021, and hence my life, was flying by. Well, somehow 2022 has equaled or maybe even surpassed 2021’s fleetness. And I have no doubt that 2023 will tear out of the starter’s block like Usain Bolt and then do nothing but pick up speed. Man, time unquestionably is the most precious commodity of all. It’s unsettling too.

Now, not everybody would agree with my perception of time. Most young people, for instance, don’t sense time as being a high-speed train.  Hell, for the most part they don’t think about time at all. Like many senior citizens, however, I have time on my mind pretty often. Meaning, I’m anything but oblivious to the facts that I’ve been on Planet Earth for a good long while, and that I’m a whole lot closer to the end than to the beginning. I don’t become badly depressed about it, or anything like that. However, the reality of the situation definitely gets my attention now and then.

I mention the above because I was stunned big-time a couple of months ago as I neared the completion of my 75th journey around the Sun. I did not feel at all celebratory about the upcoming birthday. The cockles of my heart refused to warm even one little bit. “75? Are you shitting me?” I asked myself. “How is it possible that I’ve become so f*cking old?” I mean, it seems like only yesterday that I was in my twenties, let alone in my 40s. Holy crap, where in the world did the time go?

By anyone’s definition, 75 is old as frigging dirt, or nearly so. Yeah, I know that plenty of people are older than me. Not as many as you might think, though, nor as many as I thought until I researched the subject earlier this month on a website that can tell you where you fit, age-wise, on the human population ladder. (Click here if you’d like to see the site. When it opens, click on Let’s Go. Next, click on My Place In The Population, which is where you enter your age.)

The answer, for 75-year-old me, was not joy-inducing. That’s because I learned that I am older than 96% of the people on our beautiful, polluted planet. That figure was an absolute kick to the balls. All I could do was shake off the pain and acknowledge the bad joke with a half-hearted chortle. And then I got right back to doing the things I love, such as palling around with my wife and other friends, exploring the natural and man-made worlds, writing, reading, and imbibing cool music. They make for a good life. With luck, this regimen will continue for a bunch more years.

With 2023 a mere handful of days away, the time now has arrived for me to wish all of you a most Happy New Year. May it be rewarding. And may peace, love, understanding and freedom fully permeate the human condition one day. They are in short supply in many parts of the globe, as we know all too well. So, as I’ve been thinking about freedom a lot lately, I’ll conclude this essay by presenting a song, Miles And Miles, that knocked me off my feet when I heard it for the first time recently. It’s a brilliant rocker, released this year by The Heavy Heavy, a young British band that I wouldn’t mind hanging out with for a while, traveling with them from gig to gig and absorbing their vibes. For the song’s about being flushed with freedom as you groove to life’s rhythms and grab hold of the good stuff out there in the world. I tell you, that orientation has appealed to me exquisitely since I reached adulthood many moons ago. I hope I never stop feeling, and acting, that way.

151 thoughts on “75 And Counting

  1. johnlmalone December 27, 2022 / 12:36 am

    a freewheeling song on the open road. I am similar age to you, Neil, but I’m not letting go yet: too much to do, see esp now that my children are over from interstate and oversea and the grandies are so excited to see us; I mean, Neil, who wouldn’t be ? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Audrey Driscoll December 27, 2022 / 12:41 am

    It is kind of shocking to realize that more than 90% are younger. Happy New Year, Neil, and keep on blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gabychops December 27, 2022 / 1:17 am

    Thank you, Neil, for making my feet tapping, and many more years of doing the things you like. Age is just a number, and feel just how I look, although, this is not my real age. By some genetic anomaly, I look decades younger than I am. If I need to deal with any establishment where I have to tell my date of birth, I carry with me my birth certificate. I know that there is research into reversing aging, and I can’t possibly be the only person that is looking younger
    now than when I was 10 years ago, but I am not complaining.

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

      • gabychops December 27, 2022 / 1:19 pm

        Thank you, Neil, but as have done nothing, I cannot take credit for the way I look, it is unexplained, all I know for sure that I am not an alien!

        Joanna

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lynette d'Arty-Cross December 27, 2022 / 2:07 am

    Thanks for the link – I’m getting up there, too! Older than a very overwhelming majority of the population. Time is on my mind, too, but I am looking forward to retirement in 10 months. So many things to do and see still!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Paddy Tobin December 27, 2022 / 3:18 am

    7% of the world’s population is older than me; 11% in Ireland – so the moral of the story is to move to a country which rangs you as younger! Impending – well, getting nearer to the day of death – doesn’t occupy my mind but the gradually failing body does with those ailments which need medical attention – bothersome prostate and hip replacement – and the general decline of the body. I went out yester day to cut down a relatively small tree, 40 feet high approximately, and after doing so, cutting it up, cleaning up etc I was well and truly beat. That bothers me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 27, 2022 / 1:18 pm

      Paddy, you might not be quite what you were some years ago. But anybody who can cut down and cut up a tree is in good shape!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paddy Tobin December 27, 2022 / 5:54 pm

        My body says otherwise! LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Tannille December 27, 2022 / 3:57 am

    Quality, not quantity. But still, where do the days go? Scary.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Narayan Kaudinya December 27, 2022 / 5:27 am

    Dearest Neil, its a heartfelt and heart wrenching post. Until I opened the pitara box, that image. Your concern felt puny. It might still be so. But the time flying is just an indicator of how truly you lived. Its beautiful if we can only smile for now. right now one more time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. swabby429 December 27, 2022 / 6:33 am

    Yes, time certainly zooms by like crazy as we age. I’m feeling this, too. Each day is a precious gift.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Helen Devries December 27, 2022 / 7:41 am

    Age robs us of nothing…but ill health is another matter!
    You keep on rocking and filling your days with what you love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 27, 2022 / 1:27 pm

      Hi Helen. Happy New Year to you and your husband. I’m looking forward to your next article, and appreciate your reading my stories. See ya!

      Like

  10. Anonymous December 27, 2022 / 7:48 am

    Good song. You are lookin good for 75. Keep enjoying the things you enjoy. Keep walking and clicking photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Deb December 27, 2022 / 8:43 am

    Just keep living life Neil. Our perceptions are skewed when we know we are closer to that finite #, even though we don’t really know what that # will be, but really- 75 isn’t old at all if you don’t let it be. Now 95…that might be getting into the old range.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 27, 2022 / 1:29 pm

      Deb, this is a great observation: “Our perceptions are skewed when we know we are closer to that finite #, even though we don’t really know what that # will be . . . “

      Like

  12. ellie894 December 27, 2022 / 9:23 am

    Thank you for this very thoughtful piece. The music is stellar and I’m inspired to pal around with friends and loved ones, there’s where the good stuff is at. Happy NewYear, Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Michael Graeme December 27, 2022 / 9:32 am

    I can relate to this one. The years whizz by, now. But on the up-side, we don’t have to wait so long for the summers to come around again. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. mariezhuikov December 27, 2022 / 9:53 am

    Well, if you’re older than 96% of people on the planet, you must be doing something right, right? Happy New Year Neil and family!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. stargazer December 27, 2022 / 9:59 am

    Happy New Year! I read about perception of time in a book about neuroscience. It’s something about, the more memories we create, the longer time it feels like. So for instance, when you are an inexperienced child, the summer holiday seem to last forever if lots of fun stuff is going on. As an older person, we have seen it all (almost) before, which is why time flies by.

    And these days, it’s getting more common to get to 100 – in that perspective 75 isn’t that old! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 27, 2022 / 1:36 pm

      Hi. That’s an interesting premise that you mention. To slow time down, I need to start creating more memories!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Jacqui Murray December 27, 2022 / 10:13 am

    Ain’t it the truth??!! Please tell everyone young to take good care of their bodies because they’ll pay dearly in their 70’s if they don’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 27, 2022 / 1:39 pm

      Hi. I think we become more and more aware of this as we get older. Good health practices definitely help us live longer, generally speaking.

      Like

  17. talebender December 27, 2022 / 10:55 am

    As someone once wrote (maybe me…..I can’t remember): Existence is a state of mind; make it a happy one.
    You obviously subscribe to that philosophy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 27, 2022 / 1:42 pm

      Afternoon. Yeah, we need to fill our days, at least partly, with activities that we get a kick out of. Otherwise, life becomes kind of a drag.

      Like

  18. loristory December 27, 2022 / 11:10 am

    Cool song, reminds me of my time hitchhiking in my 20s. (I got brave and looked at that chart. I’m in the top 5%, and lucky to have been in my 20s when hitchhiking was a lot safer than it is now.) Wishing you the best year ever!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 27, 2022 / 1:43 pm

      Hi, and thanks for the comments. You know, two months ago I saw a hitchhiker, the first one I’d seen in years. And he was up there in age, at least 65 years old I think.

      Like

  19. eden baylee December 27, 2022 / 11:22 am

    Hi Neil, happy 75th year on earth. 😀 I know the song you posted but couldn’t play your video – must be license issues for Canadians, heh. When I read your post, I thought it was a track from Miles Davis. You may like his “Milestones” … also very upbeat, just like you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 27, 2022 / 1:45 pm

      Hey, Eden. Miles Davis was so great. Absolutely one of the best. Here’s to a terrific 2023!

      Like

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 27, 2022 / 1:46 pm

      Hey there, Tiffany. I’m looking forward to seeing the colorful paintings you create in the new year. They are full of joy.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Monkey's Tale December 27, 2022 / 11:39 am

    That is a fascinating website, especially eye-opening to see my place in the world vs Canada. Happy 2023!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Kim Smith December 27, 2022 / 12:00 pm

    Oof! I’m slightly more than a decade behind you, but that still puts me at older than 87% of humanity. Have you ever had the disorienting experience of catching sight of yourself in a random store window and being jarred at seeing an old person? Most of the time I forget that I don’t look like a 40-year-old woman to other people, despite having that as my mental image of myself as I look out on the world. It’s crazy scary how fast it all happens. But on we go…. Happy New Year, Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. sniderjerry December 27, 2022 / 12:12 pm

    Hey there Neil, Andy Rooney said and it seems you and I agree with him, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end the faster it goes.” Have a great day. Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 27, 2022 / 1:50 pm

      Happy new year, Jerry, and many thanks for adding your unique perspective on things!

      Like

  23. Helen Devries December 27, 2022 / 12:40 pm

    I think WordPress lost my comment….but a happy New Year to you and keep looking ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Becky Ross Michael December 27, 2022 / 12:59 pm

    Hope you have a great 2023, Neil! I certainly empathize with your thoughts and feelings about the passage of time. We’ll just make the best of things:)

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Alyson December 27, 2022 / 1:03 pm

    It is incredible how time seems to speed up the older you get. A bonus of course after retirement is that you don’t spend most of your day doing stuff you “have to do” so can make the most of every day. As our neighbour said at his 90th birthday bash he was “going for the ton” (100 in the U.K.) – I’m sure you’re aiming for the same thing Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 27, 2022 / 3:00 pm

      “Going for the ton” is a great expression. I hope we both reach that magic number!

      Like

  26. Robert Parker December 27, 2022 / 1:44 pm

    Maybe don’t think of it as 75, how about “Three Quarters of a Century.”
    Many happy returns, man, and think, here you are, after all those years, still capable of enjoying sunsets on the Cape, a good rock tune, writing a good cogent post and walking around just for the fun of spotting cool trucks and signs. I’d call that a very good sign! Best wishes for the new year, Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Rosaliene Bacchus December 27, 2022 / 1:59 pm

    It’s amazing how our perception of time changes as we age. Cheers to the exclusive Four Percent Club! Cheers for another year well-lived! Cheers for the New Year ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. JT Twissel December 27, 2022 / 2:22 pm

    I’ve made it longer than many of my friends and most of the people I truly admire … I try to keep that in mind as I hurl toward the unknown! I hope this year is a joy for you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Paula B December 27, 2022 / 2:43 pm

    That stunning song instantly made my “primo” playlist! Thank you for your continuing sublime musical suggestions. And for continuing to show us how to enjoy life by registering and appreciating the beauty of small things around us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 27, 2022 / 3:47 pm

      Great to hear from you, as always, Paula. The Heavy Heavy has some good management behind them, it seems. They recently were on the Kimmel and Colbert late night shows, and performed Miles And Miles there. I didn’t see them, but I might watch the clips on YouTube. Happy New Year!

      Like

  30. Anonymous December 27, 2022 / 3:25 pm

    I can so-ooo relate to this post. I was 20. I blinked. I was 40. I blinked again. I was 60. I . . . sigghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . God bless, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. adguru101 December 27, 2022 / 6:27 pm

    As my mother used to say, “Consider the alternative”! Having recently turned 72, I definitely feel the years passing by as well, but remaining immature is my secret to staying young 🙂 Happy 2023, and rock on! Alisa

    Like

  32. shoreacres December 27, 2022 / 8:34 pm

    Methuselah here! I took a look at that very cool website and discovered that, at 76, I’m older than 97% of the population. For some reason, that cracks me up.

    When I turned about 69, I wrote this to someone: “I’m down to about twenty years now, give or take, and getting in shape, preserving the good health I have, and not wasting time on the stupid, the boring, or the irrelevant is right up there on top of my list. If I manage to avoid stupid, boring, and irrelevant, I’ll have plenty of time for what’s important.” Now, seven years down the road, I wouldn’t change a word.

    Here’s to a great new year filled with everything that’s opposite of stupid, boring, and irrelevant!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2022 / 7:43 am

      Your words, and your approach to life, are right on the money. You know what you’re doing. You’ve got it right!

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Ann Coleman December 27, 2022 / 10:46 pm

    It is amazing how quickly time goes by now, isn’t it? But just keep living your life, and don’t worry about how many people are younger or older than you. It takes some doing (I still remember the first time I met a doctor who looked all of 16 and realized that this “baby” was now in charge of my health), but trust me, it’s the best way. My mom is 92 and still going strong……

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2022 / 7:47 am

      Right, it’s not good, and of little use, to dwell upon the inevitable fate awaiting all of us. I think about it, but I don’t dwell.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. juliefj1 December 27, 2022 / 10:53 pm

    I checked out that website and I’m older than 89% of the people on the planet. Not sure how I feel about that! You’re so right though, time flies. I guess we just have to keep living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment, right? On that note, I hope you have a wonderful 2023, full of adventure, peace and everything that makes you happy. I look forward to reading your blogs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2022 / 7:49 am

      Hi there, and thanks a lot for your input. Yup, we should keep on trucking as best we can. See ya. Happy New Year!

      Like

  35. andrewcferguson December 28, 2022 / 3:36 am

    You’re an example to us all, Neil! Keep on keeping on dispensing wisdom from those upper reaches of the demographic – they’re sorely needed in this troubled age. And look forward to your further dispatches next year!

    Liked by 1 person

      • andrewcferguson December 28, 2022 / 12:14 pm

        And to you and Sandy! We might go to the local pub for a while, but our days of scrumming down with the tourists in Princes Street at the bells have loooong gone…!

        Liked by 1 person

  36. KeriC9 December 28, 2022 / 10:14 am

    You don’t sound the least bit 96 percent. Lord, if you’re 96%, what does that make my 87 year old dad and 80 year old .mom? Close to the jumping off point is what it sounds like they are. Lordy, Lord. I’ll bet you and my parents have a lot more years though.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. J. Kelland Perry December 28, 2022 / 10:39 am

    Hi, Neil. I’m feeling my own mortality much more lately. Comes with the territory I guess!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Jeff the Chef December 28, 2022 / 11:26 am

    Congratulations on making it as far as you have, that needs to be said. It sucks getting old. I guess that the one good thing about it is that I’ve been around long enough to have figured a lot of things out. My knowledge is vast and deep, and there’s a lot be said for that. Sometimes, people say that they’re content with what they’ve done, and they look back with no regrets. I have plenty of regrets, and can only see how much more there is to learn and do and understand, and so little time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 28, 2022 / 12:53 pm

      Hi Jeff. Yeah, life in many ways has no boundaries. It’s up to us to decide how far we want to go. I haven’t lost my zest for life, and I’m lucky to be interested in quite a few things. I sure hope it stays that way. See ya.

      Like

  39. Sandy December 28, 2022 / 11:32 am

    Although the mirror says otherwise, age is how you feel. At seventy five years young, you’re what 96% of the world aspire to be 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  40. alhenry December 28, 2022 / 2:41 pm

    In my college days (after the wheel was invented and before the Internet appeared), there was a popular poster seen in many a dorm room, including mine. The pic was a kitten clinging by one paw to something–I think it was a tree. The caption: “Hang onto life for all it’s worth.” I guess the trick question is, if you didn’t know how old you are, how old do you feel? I seem to be eternally around 34 in my head.

    Nothing is assured in this life, so just love what you do and have a damn good time. Happy 2023, Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

  41. cincinnatibabyhead December 28, 2022 / 4:47 pm

    The only thing I can say to you fella, is keep moving (I know you will). Now to that cut. Nice to hear some real music. Good that it’s still being made. A feel good tune for sure. It’ll get you moving. It did me. Later. Roger Wilco. Over and out. CB
    (Who the hell is Roger Wilco?)

    Liked by 1 person

  42. kegarland December 29, 2022 / 5:10 pm

    Happy New Year, Neil! Aaaaand HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! That site is great.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Little Old World December 30, 2022 / 10:42 am

    I also find it unsettling how quickly time seems to zip by these days and how it seemingly goes by faster each year. Happy New Year Neil! Hope you have a wonderful 2023!

    Liked by 1 person

  44. LTodd December 31, 2022 / 1:14 am

    May you look back on your life and count your blessings for many more New Year’s to come.

    Liked by 1 person

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