When I’m Sixty-Four…
"Will you still need me?" and "Will you still feed me?" seemed like humorous questions when Paul McCartney first asked them. Upon actually reaching the age of sixty-four, however, they take on a new relevance. Many baby boomers have had their foundations shaken (not stirred) by the recent recession. And thoughts of deferring retirement are not at all uncommon these days. Many wonder what the answers will be.
In 1967, when the Beatles released "When I’m Sixty-Four," I was twenty-one. It seemed to me like an impossibly long time in the future. Looking back now, of course, it’s not been that long at all. Sure, my appearance may have changed a bit, but inside I’m still the same care-free, indestructible guy I was then!
Yeah, I had a little heart-failure thing that was a wake-up call last year, but regular exercise and a good diet still have me feeling better now than I have in a long time. And while others have ridden that down-sizing, right-sizing, out-sourcing roller coaster lately, I’ve been fortunate to be an independent contractor. I’ve traveled my own peaks and valleys for years; that bumpy road just seems "normal" now.
Many baby boomers may be asking themselves Paul’s questions, as they dust off that crystal ball and figure out what their next steps should be. He probably chose sixty-four for the song, because it seemed so old to a youngster like him. Today, however, "old" truly is more of a state of mind than pages on a calendar. If we take care of ourselves and remember to have fun with Vera, Chuck and Dave (the "grandchildren on your knee" from the song), then there’s no telling how long the fun can continue.
And finally, those of us who are very lucky in life will find that yes, there is still someone sending "a valentine, birthday greeting, bottle of wine." When I awoke today, my wife said "See, I do still love you, when you’re sixty-four." As Paul asked, "Who could ask for more?"