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Zero to Sixty

or ... "It's Just Another Day"

By Mark 'Ponyboy' PetersPublished 11 months ago Updated 11 months ago 4 min read
Image from Ryan de Hamer on Unsplash.com

Apparently, today is a milestone day. I roll over and switch off my alarm, then lay my head back on the pillow. If I tilt my head sideways I can see outside, into what appears to be an overcast and cool morning.

It doesn't feel like it's a special day. It feels just like any other. We may get some rain . . . or we may not. You know what weather forecasters are like. I plan the day ahead. After I do my usual chores outside, feeding and watering animals on the farm, I will have breakfast and then shower, then I will head off to my office job, just as I do every other weekday.

Nothing so special about that. But you see, today is the day I turn sixty. I don't normally think too much about birthdays . . . after all, they are just another day . . . but this one has a zero on the end, so even if I do think it is just another day, it's not really. Or at least that's what everyone tells me.

Tonight there will be a dinner at a local restaurant with family and friends. That's enough for me as far as marking the occasion. I don't do parties or big celebrations. Between now and then, however, I figure that I will have plenty of time to think about my first sixty years, and the next however-many-number-of years I have left.

It's not that I've ever really thought much about what's left. I mean, I don't intend to drop off the perch just yet, so why would I? But when others whom you've known all your life start falling by the wayside, or have serious and life threatening medical issues, you do start to think about your own mortality. At least that’s what my old school friends, James (who had a major stroke just over ten years ago) and Mark (multiple bouts of cancer plus open heart surgery) have said.

Throwing back the blankets I swing my feet to the floor and stand up. I wince for a moment as an injury on my right foot protests. It's being treated and is responding slowly, but I still need to be careful.

I walk into the bathroom and take care of business, before heading for the kitchen. After throwing a couple of pieces of wood into the fire to try and keep the house warm, coffee and cereal are the order of the day. And still it doesn't seem like anything other than just another day.

I listen to the morning news, then with breakfast finished I head out into the cold morning, forgetting at first that I should have pulled on a jacket and soon making a hasty retreat back inside to find one, along with a cap. That done I brave the elements once more, to be met by two horses hanging their heads over the back gate and greeting me, while elsewhere a dog barks, wanting some breakfast. The day isn’t going to be as dreary as I thought, as the clouds are lifting, and blue skies are beckoning. It still feels like just another day though, and as I begin my morning chores, I start to cast my mind back over the past sixty years.

The first thing that comes to mind is that they seemed to have flown by. I don't even feel like I'm sixty years old, and yet here I am. Sure, I have quite a few more aches and pains than I had as a kid when running around on the old farm, and my overall health could be better -- or so my doctor keeps telling me -- but I still feel young enough to do at least some of those things I've spent my life doing.

A farm life is a good life. It helps to keep you active, even if after sixty years you can't do things as fast, or for as long, as you once did! Still, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I remember all the good stuff and the good times, and some not so good stuff. There was horse riding, swimming in creeks, camping out, fishing with my father and my grandfather. There were fun times. There were girls, along with some guys, as I explored my boundaries. There were prosperous times, but then there were droughts and rains and floods and fires. There was joy and heartbreak, sometimes on the very same day. There were victories and there were failures. Achievements worth savouring. Mistakes made. Relationships built and sometimes lost.

There was a lot that happened. But still, I wouldn't have it any other way.

With my chores complete it's time to get ready for work, so I head indoors and for the shower.

There is a man staring back at me from the mirror after I undress. For the first time I think he might be starting to look like he could be sixty years old. It's the thinning hair. The skin that's not quite as firm as it once was. The scars that tell so many stories; both those that can be seen and those that can't. He might be getting a little soft around the middle, but he has seen a lot, he has done a lot. But he still has much to do.

Life might have its challenges, but he's not going to let things get him down. He's not going to fear the future.

No. I'm not giving up. I have so much more I want to experience. So much more I want to achieve. I'm going to lose those extra few kilo's the doctor keeps nagging at me about. I'm going to finish those half written novels that I could never quite find the time to complete. And I'm going to love.

It may be just another day, but today is the first day of the rest of my life. So today, I'm going to go out there with every intention of living it.

humanity

About the Creator

Mark 'Ponyboy' Peters

Aussie, Queer & Country

LGBT themed fiction with an Aussie flavour, reviews, observations and real life LGBT histories.

W: https://ponyboysplace.wordpress.com/vocal-media-index/

E: [email protected]

https://www.facebook.com/mark.p.peters/

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Comments (1)

  • Phil Flannery11 months ago

    Nice and positive. I turned sixty this year too and I almost didn't want to celebrate it either, but then it occurred to me that it would be selfish not to let my family throw a party for me. It was nice. I haven't slowed down so much, but I find my stamina is wavering. I think I'm busier than ever which is a very good thing for me. I'm very happy with my lot. I really enjoyed your story.

Mark 'Ponyboy' PetersWritten by Mark 'Ponyboy' Peters

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