Fun With Numbers

69 divided by 3 is 23. I am 69 years old this year. I am in constant contact with that number because Lyall Watson, biologist, naturalist, the author of 20+ books whose different perspective on the mysteries of life, and a hero of mine, passed away at the age of 69 of a stroke. It shocked me as he spent much of his life outdoors including months at a time floating on his trawler in the Gulfstream waters off the east coast. I met him once, and a more gentle man one can not imagine.

In those weird moments when I have a health episode (headache, unexplained pain in my midrif, my leg goes numb) that makes me wonder WTF was that about? I think if I can just make it to 70, I will be fine.

I had this game I used to play. It was a way to be optimistic when things got bad at work or when Michael Nesmith’s “Grand Ennui” took hold, or I had thoughts about one of the several women I could have married and did not, and once in while on a birthday spent alone. The game was I would think about how old I was and say to myself “you are xx years old, you have only lived xx% of your life, you have xx% left. E.G., 25=33%=66%=(75), or 40=50%=50%=(80). That would always make me feel better.

So today, December 31, 2019, midway thru year 69, and it is of course going the other way. Now the numbers are; 69, ??%, ??%, (XX). I am not sure what numbers to plug in anymore.

The other thing I would do right after doing the calculation is I would let myself think about what I was doing 10 years ago, say at 15 when 25, or 20 years ago, say at 40 when 60. I liked doing that, it was usually kind of amazing to review all the many things that had transpired, and how different (or not) I seemed to be. Now 10 at 69 is pretty interesting too. 59. Wow.

The last thing I want to say on this topic is to reiterate something I have said before: I could go now and it would be fine. I have plans for the next few years of doing some pretty cool things, but if they don’t work out, hey, it’s been a good run.

Author: RJMS

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