Friday, April 4, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me

     Random thoughts on my 69th birthday (tomorrow) when the calendar says I'm 62. I remember the good old days at age 16 when I easily passed for 21. Those were the days when Id's were not required and looking older than my chronological age presented me with lots of advantages.
Fast forward the clock four decades. I take my son Chris Redner to rent a movie. As I reach for my wallet, the clerk says to Chris "Isn't it nice your grandfather is renting a movie for you?" Chris thought that was very funny. I was NOT amused.
     To reverse these types of age misunderstandings, every year I decide how old I'm going to tell people I am. This year I'm going to start with 69 and see what kind of reactions I'll receive. If I find that people easily believe I'm 69, that means it's necessary to move it up a few more years until I hear a comment that goes like this: "Wow, you don't look that old" There's only one downside to doing this. It's beginning to hurt my self-esteem as to how old I need to say that I am before someone finds it hard to believe. I hope it won't be necessary to say I'm in my mid 70's this year.
      This much I do know, what ever age I'll end up saying that I am, I intend to enjoy this year to the fullest.
I'm not waiting until I retire to enjoy my life. This year my family and I traveled to NY to attend my eldest son's wedding. After the wedding, we flew many members of our family to Florida for a week long family vacation. We flew them home so my wife and I could enjoy a romantic week in Florida for ourselves.
     Very soon we are taking our adoptive daughter to her country of birth, Korea. My wife, daughter and I will stay there for nine days. This summer I'm taking my wife the the CA coast. We plan to live the rest of our lives to the fullest.
       Becoming a prostate cancer survivor changed my life. I don't take time for granted. I don't take my health for granted. It's become very important to me to celebrate and create new family milestones as often as we can. I know many men who've had their prostates removed say that surgery ruined their lives.I also know that with attitude adjustment you can view the time we have left as a very precious gift. That's the legacy I want to leave my family. I want them to say Dad sure learned to live better as a prostate cancer survivor. You can make that choice whether or not you've been diagnosed with cancer.