In March, I passed another birthday. Some approach like a Carnival cruise. Others go by like kidney stones. A friend gave me a card with several funny, light-hearted aging quips, completions to the adage, "You know you're getting older when ..."
-- You feel like the night after, and you haven't been anywhere.
-- Those issues of Reader's Digest just can't come fast enough.
-- Everything hurts, and what doesn't hurt doesn't work.
-- All you want for your birthday is to not be reminded of your age.
-- You actually want socks for Christmas.
-- You and your teeth don't sleep together.
-- You remember when the Dead Sea was only sick.
-- Your address book has mostly names that start with Dr.
-- People call at 9:00 p.m. and ask, "Did I wake you?"
-- You take a metal detector to the beach.
As hilarious as some of those sayings are, I actually agree with Jack Benny, who once said: "Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
I found another proof of optimistic aging this past week, when I stumbled upon a Los Angeles Times article about 91-year-old Kirk Douglas. I might not agree with Kirk about his Democratic preferences and positions, but I highly respect the man for his stamina, career and activism. Not only has he won every award Hollywood offers, but he has been a U.S. goodwill ambassador to at least 40 countries.
Kirk also just came out with his book, "Let's Face It: 90 years of Living, Loving and Learning." In his pre-centennial decade, Douglas is still using his stardom to make a difference and striving to better himself and the world around him. He even has his own MySpace page, and enjoys blogging and chatting online.
I've always loved to watch Kirk on screen. Some of my favorite films include "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral," "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (TV) and, of course, "Spartacus."
Douglas says he is grateful for the favorable media attention he has received through the years, but that he now "resents the attitude of the media" because they don't give a fair hearing to celebrity activists.
I'm not sure about the accuracy of his sentiments there, since Bono, George Clooney, Sean Penn, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt always seem to be headlining some humanitarian cause. If, however, Kirk is referring to the media's distain for conservative entertaining activists, I would amen his antipathy.