…is split into four quarters (other races may vary).
First Quarter – 0-20: growing up.
Second Quarter – 20-40: young adult.
Third Quarter – 40-60: middle-aged adult.
And Fourth Quarter – 60-80: elderly… make that SENIOR adult.
Leaving 80-plus as the Fifth Quarter – which is as incongruous as it sounds.
And deliberately-fudged HMG figures will not disguise the fact that at 60, you are PAST IT.
But first, let us examine the other three Quarters; the First obviously determines who you will BE in This Life – however, the Second is more ambiguous.
On the one hand, you should be exploring the World’s wonders and PARTYING. But on the other, if you want your Third and Fourth Quarters to be COMFORTABLE, you need to be building a CAREER. Most people try to find a BALANCE between these two disparate pursuits.
Which brings us to the Third. This is your LAST CHANCE to do all that exploring and partying. Provided you are still young-at-heart, open-minded and reasonably physically fit, you are able to reach back and COMPLETE that Second Quarter.
And so we arrive at Quarter Number Four – which is what this piece is REALLY all about. The above was but a preamble – the set-up, if you will.
Myself being a 63-year-old bloke, I have stated elsewhere among these ramblings that “By the time you hit sixty, you should have learned all you need to, experienced all you want to – and achieved all you’re likely to.”
And I hold that to be true.
Which means that those who reach that age and have a (violent shudder) BUCKET LIST – have monumentally BLOWN it.
Even if they DO start BELATEDLY covering all the things they SHOULD have learned, experienced and achieved earlier – they are TOO DAMN OLD to be able to ENJOY them.
And some of their shenanigans are just plain STUPID; hang-gliding, wing-walking, bungee-jumping and the like. One suspects that some may actually be TRYING to kill themselves (and every year, a number DO).
But if, like ME, you HAVE learned, experienced and achieved all that lay within your potential – you can PASS on all that crap. So, all right then.
However, this raises three important issues…
One; while the FIRST HALF of my time in This Place was spent looking FORWARD to the point when the Good Times would arrive, these days one has to accept that although those times CAME (in SPADES) – they are now irretrievably GONE.
Two; HEALTH. Sciatica, dementia, the exploding and wearing out of various body-parts, peeing every two hours, forgetting what you came into a room for – I’ve had them all.
Thankfully, so far the dementia was just a TASTE; it only lasted a matter of hours – twice – and has not re-appeared for years. And my sciatica is currently in remission too.
But what NEXT?
The greatest Frenchman, Maurice Chevalier, said “Old age isn’t so bad, not when you consider the alternative” – but then again; he died rich in Paris on New Year’s Day 1972 aged 83, having had good health, while working almost to the end. Lucky Maurice.
And three; with HMG, the robber-barons of Wall Street and various other unworthies seeking to clobber us oldsters’ PENSIONS – can we AFFORD to live to eighty?