I have a problem and if you’re about forty, you’ll have it too. I’m 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 give you reasons to remain hopeful even if you’ve already got one foot in the grave.
What’s NOT cool about getting old:
Ageing has already stolen quite a lot from me (and the list keeps growing).
It looks like I spent the last six months in a Mexican meth house, except I didn’t. I’m just a dude who’s worked for the last 25 + years and it now really shows. When I don’t work, I’m busy growing a beer belly and undiagnosed cancer.
They are falling apart but my bad breath hangs in there and for some reason, refuses to leave. I recently caught a lady taking a step backwards as I told her about a project of mine.
They’re so squishy that my step-daughter uses them as handles in the subway. Seriously! She really does that.
My potential in the job market
The last time I attended a job interview, the co-founder called me “Sir” and then tried to intimidate me with wanky questions. He was about 25 and 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
It’s not clear I ever had any, but one thing’s for sure, if I did, it’s GONE now.
My ability to socialize
This has always been very limited due to my being self-conscious, resenting the human race and being socially inept. Now you’re going to tell me that these issues have nothing to do with age but I disagree. Being 40+ can cause estrangement from others in society. I rarely relate to Millennials for instance and if I do, I feel envious of their freedom and youth and so I keep my distance.
I’m sometimes forced to speak with people my own age about shitty topics like young kids, vacations and whatnot which triggers terrible fits of rage because I don’t give a damn about such things. As a consequence, you can imagine that solitude is by far my preferred option (even more so if you factor in my breath).
Now that I’ve given you my views on why we should all live fast and die as young as possible, let me balance out that grim picture with some feel-good/be-grateful material.
What’s exciting about getting old:
People call you “Sir”
Hell yeah! Isn’t that cool? 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’t make you special in any way, you find comfort in intimidating people and utilising that social scam.
You meditate more
You meditate more, deeper, longer and you carry the holy spiritual fire within! That’s because you’re old and you’ve had plenty of opportunities to struggle with and learn from the cruddy parts of life.
- Crappy romances
- Ego-driven projects that fail miserably
- Betrayed friendships
- Horrible disappointments with family
At this stage, you’re really comfortable with going into a desert and doing 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.
Sorry Gael but am unsure what you mean by the above words in yellow
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!!!”(ok so that’s a triple negative. Bite me!)
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.
Benefitting from the bitter lessons of adulthood, we grow and flourish like some exotic and delicate plant. I know it’s often called maturity but I didn’t expect it to be this blissful. Did you?