I turn 40 this year.
Some consider the big 4-0 one of the most difficult milestones, like Oh my freakin’ God, yesterday I was young, today I’m old. But “old” is subjective. I don’t feel old. I still have hair (non-gray). I don’t have unexplained pains. My energy level is usually high. A quick web search tells me that I can expect to live to around 77, so, going by that, I’m more than halfway done with this life. Given my relatively healthy lifestyle, I’m going to predict I’ll live to see 80. So . . . I’m half dead . . . is one way to say it.
But when I first “existed” on March 5, 1972, I didn’t know–to use a colloquialism–my ass from a hole in the ground. I don’t even remember the first 4 years. I probably didn’t get much done. I didn’t work a single minute on important global issues (my mom would have told me if I had). I just crawled–then ran–around and . . . developed, I guess. I sat around playing with little wooden toys. My point was going to be that the next 40 years will be better than the first.
Then I thought about it for a minute, always a mistake. It’s possible that my last 4 years (theoretically from age 76 to 80) will, again, be spent trying to figure out the difference between my ass and a hole in the ground. The first 4 years is tolerable because a lot of the silly stuff you do is adorable, but can you find anything adorable about a grown man pooping into a diaper, ripping it off with one hand, and then winging it into a ceiling fan? Oh, you do, huh? Sicko. And don’t accuse me of making fun of Alzeimer’s sufferers, because I’m writing about about things I’ve already started doing.
I’m just thinking out loud here.
I’m writing about this because I’m sitting near two “old” people in Sacred Grounds. They’re in their 70s, maybe 80s. They’re wrinkled up like a couple of raisins and they’ve gone gray up top. I just can’t keep my eyes off these people. I want to ask questions. What do you think about your . . . oldness? Does it take a day’s worth of energy to get to and from the coffee shop? Are you guys wearing diapers?
I went to the restroom, came back, and they were gone.
I’ve decided that i’m okay with 40. I’m not going to worry about things I have no control over. All the wisest people, past and present, will tell you the same thing. They say “Dude, worry kills!” The Alcoholics Anonymous folks are going on and on about it right now in church basements all over the world.
God, grant me the power to keep my diaper strapped on until someone comes along to change it and the power to not worry about how the Serenity Prayer goes.