Getting older

· “Health care hasn’t slowed the aging process so much as it has slowed the dying process.”

Day of the Dead is celebrated from 31st October through today and celebrates loved ones who have passed on and celebrates, in a cheerily macabre fashion, the whole world of the dead.

My wife and I celebrated the milestone ever closer to our own mortality with a “60ulies and 60sties” Halloween-themed 60th birthday party 60 (“Decaying flesh, creaking bones, startled delirium…all part of the scary freak show called aging. To celebrate their 60th year of being undead…”). I’ve never been fazed by milestone birthdays, but this one does make me feel as a I am in a new chapter of my aging. I do feel older. I do feel the wear and tear of aging on my body. I do sense the inescapable limits of our time on this Earth. But we decided to lean into it completely with festive ghostly gala.

Still, I’m not as desperate to embrace the reality of my mortality as Ezekiel J. Emanuel’s “Why I Hope to Die at 75”. The piece is a bit of a depressing glass-half-full catalogue of all the things that get worse with post fifty aging. In his analysis, I don’t think he adequately filters out the variable of lifestyle changes.  He makes time series comparisons about how 70-year-olds today live less healthy lives than their counterparts from a generation ago.  But so do 30 year olds.  The question should be “do 70 years old today live that much more of a less healthy life than 30 year old today than the difference was a generation ago.” In any event, as much as I embrace the finitude of my time here, I still want it to enjoy as many sunrises as possible.