I have a problem. If you’re about forty, you have it too: you’re getting old. And it sucks or at least a large part of it sucks. For the sake of journalistic integrity, I’ll start with what sucks and then I’ll share the good part about having one foot in the grave.
1- What’s NOT cool about getting old:
Ageing has already stolen quite a lot from me, like:
I look hung over, except I’m not. I’m just a dude who’s worked for 25 + years and now it really fucking shows. When I don’t work, I’m busy growing a beer belly and undiagnosed cancer.
They are falling apart and my bad breath hangs in there, for some reason, it refuses to leave. I recently caught a young head hunter taking a step backwards when I was talking about…Stuff.
They’re so squishy that my daughter hang on to them, like handles, when we’re in the subway.
My potential in the job market
The last time I attended a job interview, the co-founder called me “Sir” and then he tried to intimidate me with weird questions. He was about 25, some of my underwear is older (and dirtier) than him, so the whole meeting felt like a weird episode of South Park. He didn’t call me back.
My sex appeal
Not sure I ever had any, but one thing’s clear by now: if I did, it’s GONE.
My ability to socialize
This has always been an issue because I still resent the human race and it shows on my facial expressions. Now you’re going to tell me that these issues have nothing to do with age but I disagree. Being 40+ can cause issues with your peers. For instance: I feel envious of millenials, of their freedom and their youth and their…. and so I keep my distance.
I’m sometimes forced to speak with people my own age about shitty topics like young kids I don’t give a toss for, vacations and whatnot and I don’t give a damn about all that crap. As a consequence, you can imagine that solitude is by far my preferred option (even more so if you factor-in my zombie breath).
OK, now now what’s good about getting old:
People call you “Sir”
Hell yeah! Isn’t that sweet? When they see your old mug at the door, employees behave. You’re their boss’s age after all. And even if you know that being older doesn’t make you special in any way, you find comfort in abusing people’s fear of the old Alpha-male.
You meditate more
An you meditate deeper, longer. You carry the holy spiritual fire in you! That’s because you’ve had plenty of opportunities to struggle with the smelly parts of life:
- Crappy romances
- Ego-driven projects that fail miserably
- Betrayed friendships
- Horrible disappointments with family members (cheap pun intended)
At this stage, you’re ready to go to a desert and do away with the whole human life deception! You might not yet be Yoda, but you kind of sense what’s good for you: meditating, sitting your ass in the present and relaxing.
You enjoy free stuff
When you’re broke and old like me, simple stuff satisfies you.
Anything relaxing will do like a walk in the park, a nap with the cat or the second season of a Korean series that you’ll never finish watching…and all that good stuff is free!
How immensely satisfying to frolic in meadows whilst the 20 something crowd struggles with a toxic mix of boredom and ambition.
You take no shit
You used to be intimated by debt collectors, landlords and weed dealers but not anymore. With age, you’ve learned to fight back.
There’s no spooking you now. Administrations, businesses and even your own family no longer pose a threat to you! You’ve been kicked so many times that the skin of your behind is as thick as a rhino’s magnificent derrière.
“Just bring it on!” you think, be it to nasty taxi drivers or hustlers of any kind. The world can still try to bully you but now you’re on the right side of the gun and you don’t take no shit no more”.
You enjoy returning favors
I’m talking about repaying your parents, for instance. They used to feed you and they gave you the best education they could. Now, they are quietly walking out of this life, weakened physically and emotionally whilst you are at the peak of your strengths; well almost peak.
It’s time to parent your own parents and finally do something for them. Boy, that feels right; particularly now that you can protect them from scams, aggressive neighbors and other vultures.
You appreciate everyone’s qualities
That’s a blanket statement and I know it sounds like I’m sugar coating reality but I’m not.
Some bizarre chemical process takes place in an ageing brain; all of a sudden, most women look beautiful and young people seem to radiate intelligence and kindness.
Go figure what makes me more receptive to other people’s qualities when I used to loathe mankind so much.
This leads me to wonder how come I spent the first 20 years of my life surrounded by ugly chicks and moronic colleagues? What was skewed in my perceptions? I guess that magical pill worked.
Now here I am and here you are. Our sagging bodies tell it all before we open our mouths. Most commercials are designed for people younger than us but from here on, a strange kind of freedom starts rising like a morning star, and wondrous things become possible such as newly acquired freedoms.
Benefiting from the bitter lessons of adulthood, we grow and flourish like some exotic and delicate plants. I know it’s often called maturity but I didn’t expect it to be this blissful. Did you?