The Prime Number Immediately Preceding 79

The culture within which I swim likes numbers, and things that can be numbered, to be grouped into fives and tens. As my age has advanced I have taken, instead, to making public note of those birth date anniversaries which are prime numbers: 59, 61, 67, 71 and, pending, 73. I like the idea of “prime,” as in “the prime of one’s life.”

I feel blessed by fortune, fate and circumstance to be relatively free from concern about food, clothing and shelter and, for the higher needs, books, music, the beauties of Nature, and access to the Internet. Of course all this would be quite dry and thin if I were not also enveloped and nourished by the love of family and friends.

Circumstances can change at any time, to any degree, but one gets used to things appearing to remain the same, at least in the short term. My short-term thinking is a few years. The longer-term, which I think about more often, I see as 20 to 25 years, barring accident.

I will pass through the seventy-third anniversary of my birth sometime on 7 January, 2010. Many years ago I aspired to reach age 63, just to experience living beyond the year 1999.

I “retired” at age 65½, exactly, although I prefer to say I have had no boss since then. I need to feel useful and have, therefore, been employed in a number of activities, some even remunerative. All have been of my own choosing and, having completed many, I have moved on to others.

My father lived until age 87, my mother until age 90. Actuarial tables for “white” male persons living currently in the USA tell me that I will probably live until around 84.5 years. By virtue of having moved to Sweden seven years ago, that figure may well increase to 87.5 years. Other than my inherited tendency toward hypertension which is easily controlled, I have no major chronic diseases or disabilities. I think it reasonable, therefore, to expect to live until age 90 or 95.

But, since I like prime numbers, let’s round that up to 97.

See you around.

Ron Pavellas
2 January 2009

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About Ron Pavellas

Expatriate Californian living in Sweden with wife. Retired from employment in the USA. Currently focused on blog articles, memoirs, and creative writing.
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3 Responses to The Prime Number Immediately Preceding 79

  1. Diane says:

    Dear RP,
    I enjoyed your article and foundit is very interesting. I wonder what culture I “Swim” in.
    I never heard that expression before.
    DD

    • Ron Pavellas says:

      It’s a metaphor, trying to evoke the image of a fish which is unaware that it is in the water which influences its every movement, according to temperature, salinity, actions of other fish, etc. Our cultural influence are almost invisible to us, being immersed in it as we are.

  2. Reg says:

    I’d like to live as l can, 97 is cool but 113 sounds better. 🙂

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