It is no longer big news that I have reached the ripe old age of 60 as that was two months ago. So how do I feel about it? What is new? What feels different if anything? And do I care?
The first big thing to say and so I will say it in capitals, is I AM SO SO GLAD I DON’T DRINK!
Followers of my posts will know I never anticipated living until this age and so every day is a bonus, but having accepted that wonderful fact, the excitement of that magical 60th birthday has finally faded and I am now busy philosophising about the future.
I really want to achieve something incredible in the next thirty years. I have decided thirty years is a good target as that gives me half as much time to live as has already gone by which should be more than enough. Imagine if you had been told you have an extra thirty years to live, what would you plan?
I already know I want to be as healthy as I possibly can in all that time, and so the not drinking, not smoking, pescatarian (fish and veg) diet, lots of healthy exercise and no stress regime will help massively with that. (That no stress element by the way I put totally down to not drinking. The relief from guilt, planning the day around booze, panicking about where the next drink will come from and consequent freedom and time for others has reduced stress in my life to almost absolute zero!)
I would like to do something that adds value to mankind if possible. Both from a willingness to help but also from the selfish perspective of making me feel good. That might well be extending what I am doing on the ‘I Don’t Drink’ front by reaching and helping more people, (I am writing some more books). It might be working in a school in the Third World. All I know at this stage is that I don’t want to waste a minute and I want to feel that I am really achieving something. If only I had felt this way before I started boozing all those decades ago, I can only imagine what I might have additionally achieved already.
To help fill my mind with new ideas, in the past few weeks alone I have been to lectures at the Astronomical Society, the Geological Society, the Geographical Society, the Royal Society and talks and exhibitions at the British Library, the British Museum and the Science Museum. It really is like being a kid again learning lots of new things and devouring so many new ideas and concepts.
So going back to original question - do I feel old? The simple answer is NO!
I felt so old and decrepit when I was drinker, so short of time, so tied up with angst and so burdened by what I felt were insurmountable pressures. Now I can look back on that, and as a consequence, feel so much younger, fresher, fitter and completely alive, the difference really is stunningly remarkable. I also know I look much younger than I did when I drank and you will find the same when you quit.
In my book ‘One Less for the Road’ I talk about life after alcohol and expound on how wonderful it is, but I think I will have to add a whole new chapter that confirms the wonderful fact that it just gets better and better, no matter what age you are. Roll on the next thirty years!