Becoming Senior Menu Eligible

A new day is dawning! I’m not sure whether to welcome it or dread it, but it’s coming either way.
On Cinco de Mayo I reach 55! I will now become eligible to order off of the senior menu at a number of restaurants. It is the section that, for the past several decades, I have raced by in my decisions of what to have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s the section that does not feature cheeseburgers, southern fried chicken, or a slab of ribs smothered in sweet honey barbecue sauce. No bottomless pasta bowl offers are on it.
I haven’t looked that closely yet, but I don’t believe it has a dessert section in it. I figure that the restaurants assume that extra green beans on the dinner plate are preferable to extra hot fudge on the sundae. It’s the senior version of being given the TV remote control, told you can watch whatever you want, and then discovering there are only two channels. It’s guided freedom.
It has, instead, featured the equivalent of a “No Trespassing” sign at it’s heading by simply saying “55 and Over Menu.”
For some reason I’m not feeling the same way I did when I discovered I was tall enough to finally ride the “Scrambler” at the amusement park. Being able to order a special serving size of liver and onions does not prompt me to begin salivating.
I wonder if the server will check my ID the first time I attempt to get the “turkey roll.”
“Sir, that part of the menu is for those 55 and older.”
“I am! See.”
“Well, I guess you are! Well…you look very well preserved for your age!”
Life is filled with milestones. Sometimes they are welcomed and sometimes they are dreaded. The birth of my grandson was welcomed. My first root canal was dreaded. Both were experienced—celebrated or endured—and both taught me. The first about the celebration of new life and the joy it brings; and the second about flossing better in the future.
“Becoming Senior Menu eligible” reminds me that I’m not getting any younger; that even as I press on towards the purpose God has for my life, and fulfilling the potential He has gifted me with, I am faced with the changes and challenges of growing older. I will not stop pressing towards fulfilling my purpose, but I will survey the path a little more carefully.
A few years ago I was training to run the Pike’s Peak Ascent race, a 13.2 mile run to the top of the mountain, for insane people. I would train by going over to Barr Trail, the trail that is also used for the race, and running usually four to five miles up. When I did that I would, of course, have to turn around and run back down. Running down is harder on you physically than running up because of the pounding your ankles and knees take. The first couple of times I ran down I stumbled several times on tree roots sticking out, or rocky places that one of my feet would clip as I went over it. After a while I discovered that running down wasn’t about how fast I could get back down to the bottom, but rather “how fast I could get back down to the bottom safely.” I found out from experience that there were certain spots to slow down at, or certain places where it was better to pass to on the right side of the trail rather than the middle.
Hitting 55 is like a “life point” where you, hopefully, have become a little wiser, a little slower, a little more limited, but also a little clearer on the direction you’re heading in.
55 on 5/5!
“Waiter, waiter! Liver and onions for everybody!”

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One Comment on “Becoming Senior Menu Eligible”

  1. Katie Says:

    Similar thoughts I’ve been having, turning 40 next year. Thanks for the heads-up! And happy belated birthday. :o)

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