77 Sunset Strip

I had a birthday recently–I’m 77, and for those who remember the ancient tv series I’ve been saying I’m on “77 Sunset Strip” just to be amusing.  Hopefully, I won’t be sunsetting that soon…

But put me on a tennis court and I regularly rack up wins (in doubles, anyway), and were I to “graduate” to pickleball I wouldn’t know where to start to “learn” what I consider not much more than a child’s game.  Looks rather silly to me (please don’t send hate mail).

In my mid-60’s I actually won prize money ($50) for co-winning a local doubles tournament. My competition included high schoolers so it wasn’t just for local geriatrics…(My mixed doubles partner was a middle aged doctor’s wife.  We defeated the high schoolers.)

It’s ironic how you can be so good at a sport when so many of my generation are disabled. or simply limited in what they can do physically.  Yet I have been diagnosed with bladder cancer which, without regular treatments (at Stanford Medical Center, no less) I’d probably be dead from in a year or two.  How did I get it?  I never smoked, drank or was much of a carouser.  The cause (or causes) are actually rather a mystery to many urologists. (Mine told me it was just “bad luck.”)  I do suspect municipal water with all its potentially cancer causing chemicals, like chlorine and PCB’s.  If  I were you, and live in a big city, I’d drink nothing but bottled water–which I do now.  And avoid breathing bad air (I grew up in smoggy L.A.)

And then, alas,  there’s the hearing–which has gotten far worse the past few years and now requires a hearing aid (at least in one ear) or my wife gets fully fed up when I keep saying “eh?”

And then (and then…) there’s also all the reconstructive surgery I’m going to need just to be able to chew without a mouthful of implants and/or dentures…

So, on balance it may seem like I’m falling apart–which many of those of you over 50, 60, 70 or beyond can relate to–YET parts of me (ahem) still function adequately in bed–and, as I said, on the tennis court…

Someone once said, “getting old isn’t for sissies.”  Overall, I love my life with all the traveling we do, the grandchildren we get to see (and, fortunately, don’t have to take care of too often) and the friends we have.

But getting old ISN’T for sissies.  Yet I live in a very happy place (California’s Central Coast), get three square meals a day, and wake up everyday to a wonderful woman I met 27 years ago (second marriage for both of us).

I hope you’ve learned to live with the ravages of aging–and not be an incessant complainer about it.  But, as you can see, the ravages are rather hard to avoid. (But do avoid the complaining).

William Seavey has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and at NextAvenue.org.  He’s written for a variety of magazines and newspapers over the course of 50 years as a journalism graduate of the University of Iowa.  
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William Seavey
He is a veritable Renaissance Man (for a modern age!) He’s an author of nearly a dozen books, including Crisis Investing and Entrepreneuring and Moving to Small Town America). He and his wife have been interviewed by AARP THREE times. His contributions have appeared in the New York Times, Credit.com, Barrons, Reader’s Digest, The Street, Active Over 50, U.S. News, the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere. He spent five years as a professional resume’ writer and started a national association. He ran the Greener Pastures Institute 15 years and helped thousands relocate to their “Shangri-la.” Locally he’s taught at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute through Cal Poly and presented to Rotary and HopeDance audiences. He built a house in a Baja California resort for $25,000 ($700 annual dues/taxes)! He appeared on the front page of the SLO Tribune with his rainwater saving strategies to encourage conservation. He was a founding board member of Hopes Village, which locally is trying to help the homeless with affordable "tiny" homes. He co-runs a bed and breakfast inn and airbnb in Cambria, and has for the last 12 years. He’s also worked in the health field (HMO/student clinic) and received a certificate in Primary Prevention healthcare. He even attended the famous Woodstock Music Festival.