I’ve finally set a retirement date. At least an official one, where I actually live off the government. The Government won’t pay me enough, so I will still have to work a part-time job, but it will be easier on me. Maybe you’ve noticed I have been writing more posts lately. Maybe I can start making money this way?

Because I have set a date I have been thinking about being old. After all, this is a bridge of sorts in my life, passing from middle age to old age, from getting up every day and going to work to not. Sort of anyway. I think of other transitions in my life, going to high school, then college. Getting married, then divorced (23 years and 22 years yesterday). Getting married again. Working different jobs, and living in different places.

I was thinking back to what was the pivotal moment in my life when I realized I wasn’t a kid anymore. We all have a moment, , an event, where we all of a sudden realize we aren’t living in a childhood bubble and we aren’t protected like we were. A time when things become more real.

For me, there was one event that made me realize my childhood was gone. I have seen a lot of remarkable things in my life. In July of 1969, we put a man on the moon. We went from having three channels on the TV to more than we can count or watch. Cell phones have become a reality. Computers as well. But none of these things made me feel older. So what did?

It was while watching a Monday Night Football game in 1980. This was the night John Lennon was murdered. Why did this particular event make me feel old? After all, other famous people had died. I remember when John F Kennedy was shot. (Was there someone on the grassy knoll?) Robert Kennedy, Elvis Presley, one of my uncles, my grandfather, and a cousin had all died before this time. What was so special about John Lennon?

John Lennon was not my favorite Beatle. I really didn’t care for him. But I grew up with the Beatles. I remember sitting on the front porch of my childhood home listening to Beatles records on a portable record player. In the fall of 1963 we dressed up in Beatles costumes for Halloween. I remember one Sunday night watching “The Ed Sullivan Show” to see them. The Beatles were my first cultural heroes.

After they broke up I always thought maybe there was a chance they would get back together. But after John was killed I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I felt as if my childhood was officially over and now I had to be a grown-up. Being a grown-up sucks.

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