Covid and Turning 80 in 2020

I turned 80 in March. A helluva time to enter lockdown.

I turned 80 in March. A helluva time to enter lockdown.

Like most 80-year-olds I know, I don’t feel 80. Most of the time. Or maybe this is exactly what 80 feels like.

Regardless, it is an impressive number, and it deserves a reckoning. 

As my wife — 13 years my junior — notes when I’m looking with incredulity at my body’s sags and bags, “We all think we’ll live forever, but we also think we’ll never get old.” 

Ain’t that the truth! 

I hear echoes of that fact in young voices, mostly women’s, who say, “The one thing I look forward to about growing old is that I won’t worry about what I look like or what others think of me.” 

Oh, really? And at exactly what age of old does that occur? 

But with the reckoning with COVID 19 and turning 80, perhaps I am old enough to give up the worry.

So for today I give myself permission. Permission to calculate the significance of these 80 years….

….to acknowledge the successes that occurred by chance and by hard work ….

….to admit some abject failures that poke around in my 3 a.m. soul from time to time…..

….to recognize the undeserved grace and joy in my life…. 

And also to damn the sadness and sorrow.

My reckoning with 80 will go no further. 

I am on a new adventure with my work and my life. 

In spite of COVID or because of it? 

Hard to say. It’s probably both-and. 

My artist wife and I have two rooms full of new work completed since March. 

The work — packed up and ready to roll out for exhibits and performances that COVID delayed — will lie fallow until next year. Or the next. 

But not to worry. The delay will not impede my momentum. I look ahead. I am just getting started. 

It’s actually a helluva time and place to turn 80.  

From my sketchbook

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