Feelin’ Forty: Some Thoughts on Aging

3 Jan

I turn 40 this year.

Turning 40

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.

8 Responses to “Feelin’ Forty: Some Thoughts on Aging”

  1. zenmamajo January 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    omgosh – i can’t believe you mentioned my old stomping ground “sacred grounds”! does jennifer still own the place? i remember when she first opened that place – it was SUCH a God send in that town – i can’t believe how much edwardsville has changed in the last ….holy cow…it’s been 12 years??? wow. mmmmmm….i loved those little coconut cookie bar things…can’t remember the name of them but i can visualize them on the counter…mmmm…thanks for the nostalgic memories!

    • fightn4it January 5, 2012 at 6:20 am #

      Yeah, Jennifer still owns it as far as I know. I’m lucky to live within walking distance to S.G.

  2. aimee January 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
    The courage to change the things I can
    And the wisdom to know the difference.

    My days of sitting in church basements have came to an end. Not missing a friday night for an entire year was enuf for me.
    Whew!

    • fightn4it January 5, 2012 at 6:22 am #

      Is that quote recited every time, or even more than once?

  3. misfit120 January 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    HEY! I’m 69 and no raisin. (checking) Nope…no raisin. SO WATCH IT FELLA! Good blog…keep up the good writing, from one very close raisin to a future raisin.

    • fightn4it January 5, 2012 at 6:28 am #

      Ha. Sorry, It was all kinda tongue-in-cheek. The “raisins” are the wisest of us all.

  4. Patience January 3, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    As a person who cared for the elderly, I can honestly say that they don’t fling diapers, well except for my mother in law who had a stroke. She took particular joy in getting her good hand involved, but no flinging. Most old people are waiting for God to take them out, or a decent driver. Some are to proud, some are kind. Next time you see the old timers, engage them in a chat. Ask what their lives were like at 40. Find the reality of aging. Personally aging scares the shit out of me. Lastly, the 40’s were the beginning of the best years of my life and I’m 6 years in!

    • fightn4it January 5, 2012 at 6:25 am #

      Ha. That’s good to know: no flinging. Thanks for sharing, it’s sad that the wisest people around (the elderly) are sometimes treated poorly by society.

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