Turning 65 and ­living to tell about it

Ah, the joys of turning 65.

Google “turning 65” and the first three hits tell you that you – yes you – are lucky to be able to sign up for (drum roll, please) Medicare.

Of course, that’s if you can understand the darn thing. It seems like a car salesman put together Medicare plans A, B, and yes folks, plans C and D. They’re tricky and difficult to understand, with hidden surprises that may pop up and hit you on the head at any moment.

On top of that, my mailbox is suddenly flooded by various insurance companies lauding their own Advantage plans as the best, while salesmen call to ask if they can come to my home to educate me.

Add to that the groans that come with the simple task of bending over to pick up something, lost in a kind of limbo wondering how the heck you’re going to get back up.

Sixty-five used to be the big retirement age, but that changes yearly according to how much money the government says will be left to pay out in Social Security.

Forgive me, but didn’t we just spend the last 40 years paying into a system so that we could have something to live on in our old age, only to be told that we shouldn’t have been depending on it at all? Talk about adding gray hairs to any 65-year-old head.

Baby Boomers

Luckily for us, we are part of the Baby Boom generation – known for never taking anything lying down.

We are the generation where 50 is the new 40 and 60 is the new 50. We aren’t aging like our parents did, and our numbers in demographic terms have become the Gray Tsunami. We participate in extreme sports, travel and try new things.

Men and woman are rocking gray hair, a hallmark of aging with new gusto, throwing those dye bottles as far away as their senior arms can sling them. Social media blogs are afloat with names like Silver Fox, Elder Chicks and Senior Planet as we navigate aging in our own unique way.

Of course, not all is easy going. As we hit this milestone, we begin to lose more of the ones we love. We become caregivers who sometimes need to be cared for, and our mortality can sneak up on us when we least expect it.

Many times, we don’t recognize that person in the mirror or who owns those double chins glaring back at us on Zoom.

Yet if being a senior denotes some wisdom and grace, we may learn to accept this next stage of life with the same spirit as our generation did in our youth.

Maggie Lennon is a writer and photographer who writes about navigating the aging process. Check out her blog, “The Sensational Sixties. An everywoman’s guide to getting older.” Contact her at maggielennon164@yahoo.com.