The Cassia Life

Reaching 90 Worth the Trip

The Cassia Life
By Jesse Watkins, Cassia’s own resident blogger

I’m talking about 90 years of age, not 90 miles per hour.  There are times, of course, that the two do feel like they’ve bonded–things moving too fast.

At any rate, dear reader, I’ve just turned 90 years old.  It happened back in early August.  There has been no secret about it, I’ve just felt things generally were better when I concentrated on the thinking/writing work, balancing it with enjoyment of a surprise blessing that’s come my way recently.

I’m perfectly OK with people knowing my age, and I’m just fine with the actual age number swelling to the big 9-0.  Plus, thinking it through, it’s probably a good time to begin relating to you a greater look into my life generally.

My three adult children, Carolee, Laurie and John, decided that my 90 years called for a significant celebration. And we did; it took place at my church, over good food and generous toasts. A few birthday cards in the bowl imparted these thoughts:

  • “You’re not old as long as there’s a little bit of whipper left in your snapper!”
  • ”If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, give in to it.”
  • “Joy is not made to be a crumb.”
  • “Take time to enjoy the good things in life.
  • “Take time to remember the special moments.”
  • “Take time to celebrate the very happiest of days.”

While keeping the real world in sight, to me, at age 90, it appears there is more latitude to be and to do what I choose than there was before 90. It’s close to OK to choose to be a little different, to think outside the box. It’s a side of human nature to let loose now and then. Sort of like singing way loud in the shower.

Another thing that’s rather neat is that as part of the new-found freedom of 90 and beyond a person can plan ahead to spend the later years of life more enjoyably. Perhaps watching your adult kids become parents, becoming a grandparent yourself, eventually perhaps a great grandparent.

In the senior community where I live a monthly birthday party is held, and as part of the program honorees are asked questions like, “What years of your life were the best?”  The answers varied, but a couple of us responded that the present years, the retirement years, often feel the best. Several reasons were offered:

  • The stress and hard work of a demanding job are gone.
  • There may be more freed-up income to spend on things you’ve postponed, what with the house paid for, insurance premiums dropping away, etc.
  • There’s more time to read, to watch TV, to watch sports on TV, to entertain and to be entertained.
  • The kids are gone, and while you miss them the house is quiet and it needs less housework.          
  • Medicare kicks in and getting sick isn’t so expensive or scary any more.
  • Some of your friends have moved to assisted living and are enjoying it. You’re considering joining them.

Welcoming age 90 and beyond may be a bit of a stretch for many, and physical health usually plays a major part. Choices change, of course, but several often are available.