My first birthday greeting arrived this week, way too early. It was well in advance of my December 75th. It was a stark reminder that I am heading for my ‘last quarter’, as my housemate Michael calls it.
What was this greeting? Roads and Maritime Services sent me medical assessment forms for me to take to my doctor. Based on the results of the exam, she then determines my fitness for driving. All license holders, when they reach 75, need to submit to such a medical exam. And then, I will continue to submit to this assessment annually.
The Roads and Maritime letter reminded me of when I was first driving, just 16 years old in Tucson, Arizona. The family car I learned on was a 1960 Ford Falcon. One month after I’d become a licensed driver, I had an accident at a four-way stop sign. I looked the wrong way. I began to roll slowly forward and got pranged by the car I should have given way to. Fortunately, we were all in slow motion, so the smash was not bad. No one was hurt, unless you count my pride.
Just as well that I got any further car crashes out of my system. My next car was my pride and joy, a turquoise 1965 Ford Mustang.
I could, if I wanted to, view age 75 as the beginning of the end, which in a way is true. We are all creeping towards our demise from the day we are born.
Yet there were a couple of good things that came out of the process of having to submit to the Roads and Maritime exam.
- My relationship with my beautiful g.p. She has been looking after my medical needs for eight years. When she looked at my forms, she was able to tick ‘no’ in every one of the boxes. No heart problems, no diabetes, no epilepsy, no medications, and so on. I’m not bragging. I know that well-being is a fragile ecology. It can be disturbed in many ways. But as of this week, knock on wood, I am a healthy almost 75-year old. I appreciate my doctor for supporting my wellness, and giving me the thumbs up for another year of driving.
- Acknowledgement. When I presented myself and my forms at the Services Office, the lass who served me gave me a huge compliment. She was shocked that I was about to join the ranks of 75-year olds. To her I appeared too young to be standing before her.
In large measure, I attribute my good health to a healthy lifestyle on all levels. It’s helped immeasurably to have had yoga as my steady companion for forty-eight years. Hopefully I will continue to enjoy many more years of healthy and safe driving.