curmudgeon: A crusty, irascible, cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas or opinions.
It's about four years since I threw my hat into the ring and ran for Institute Director of CSI. I recall thinking at the time, "Holy cow, when my term is done, I'll be almost sixty!" There may not be a lot of difference between fifty-six and sixty, but those round-number, milestone birthdays somehow take on added significance.
Thirty was the worst. Until then, you're still young by any measure. But there's something about thirty that distorts its real effect beyond reason. With current life expectancy well over sixty, it's not even a halfway point, but still, you're starting to see the downhill side of the slope. Surprisingly, forty and fifty were no big deal, but sixty might be a bit scary. In my mind, I'm just a little past thirty, which seems strange when I think about my children, both of whom turned thirty this year. How the heck did they catch up to me?
I had a short period last year - about ten days - when life was even better than usual. My first grandson was born; my son returned from an extended tour in Iraq; and I got a letter from the mortgage company saying I owed them only a little over a hundred dollars.
It was only a short time later when everything snapped back to reality.