Yes, today is my fifty-ninth birthday--an odd age, not one recognized with special cards or generally celebrated with age-specific parties. The only time I remember the age ever being specifically mentioned is in Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow (which I read for the first time in my forties), when Anne examines herself in the mirror and concludes that she is "not bad for an old bat" but too old (and too married) to seduce a gorgeous young(ish) priest. It's an in-between age, kind of like seventeen (for those of us old enough to remember the song, in which Janis Ian described learning the truth), but at a very different place on the life spectrum.To stop any speculation right now, fifty-nine is a much easier age than seventeen. I like it better and thoroughly expect to enjoy it more. Adolescence was rough, and I have no desire to go back (except maybe to have joints that don't complain, such things being a nuisance).
Fifty-nine is not, however, young, and to be honest, not in the middle of any ordinary human life span. Until recently, sixty was considered at least early old age by nearly everyone. To my knowledge, none of my relatives has lived to be a hundred and eighteen, or even a hundred. Ninety is the outer limit for most of us (and those who made it further retained very few marbles during their last few years), placing me at the last year before the last third of earthly existence. Oh. my.
So--watch out, world! Retirement from full-time paid employment is only a very few semesters off (barring some economic disaster--not impossible, and I'll be in good company if that happens and likely to still be enjoying the tormenting of
students), and my hours and days will be mine to structure. Activities will be those that seem to me a worthwhile expenditure of limited time.
Hmm...I wonder what the next adventure will be.