29 August 2005

31 and counting

Its weird. I never expected to be self-conscious of my age. 21, 22, 23...29 and I never gave the march of time a whole hell of a lot of thought. But 32 is doing a fast creep my way and I am dwelling more, and much more than I would like, on my own personal yearly chronograph. I have to tell you, I hate the idea of getting old. I'd much rather live life perpetually around this age for seventy or eighty years and then poof. I like how I look at 31, how I feel. I can still do all the things I did at 18 and 20 and in fact I do those things much better.
There are many out there who really try to esteem old age. They say isn't that a handsome old man, or try to convince themselves and others that old women are pretty. I think dignified is a better word. Mature sure. I won't argue with those. Nor would I argue that elders deserve respect. Folks with the grit to last 70, 80, 90 plus years certainly have all the respect I have to give.
But here is the thing, getting old sucks. Perhaps I am just jaded about aging because I am at the age where my own father is showing his age and my grandpa is so terribly far from the strong confident man I grew up admiring. So its entirely possible that I am biased on this subject. But maybe not...
If you are at all an athlete, age is going to rob you. It will begin differently for different folks but its unavoidable.
Your joints....these are going to cause you problems, just you wait.
Excessive wrinkling. Some of us can pull it off. Tommy Lee Jones, sure. Clint Eastwood, yeah. Elephants, hell yeah, but most of us just can't make it work.
Failing eyes and ears. Ugh!
Metamucil, and all the digestive problems that entails.
And after 50 there is direct relationship between age and the number of medications you have take. So for everyyear over fifty you are, you will need a new med you weren't taking the year before. Okay that is hyperbole, but you see my point.
Finally if you are lucky enough to survive all the slings and arrows modern life has to hurl at you, cancer is likely your big reward for living a long productive life. Thanks alot degrading telomeres. Thanks alot imperfect DNA replication machinery. Thanks alot mammalian physiology.

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