I like being old. Now, I know, 50-something isn’t “old,” per se. Age is, after all, a matter of perspective. But kids and teens will consider me old. I know I would if I was their age. People older than me will say that I’m young—and I get that. I’m that way with the young’uns. You tell me you’re 39? Come on! That’s nothing. Your hitting your quarter century? My god, you’re just a baby. And yet, I get where you’re coming from. I’ve been there! That’s why I’m using all of my wiseness to tell you about 3 of the top pros and cons of aging.
The Top 3 Negatives of Aging
- Things hurt— No joke. You’ve heard from “old people” your whole life: “My back hurts.” “My shoulder hurts.” “My knee hurts.” Guess what? All of those things are hurting me at this very moment. Why? Because I woke up. Okay, that’s only partially true. I’m actually hurting because I played softball—but that was a month ago! It’s ridiculous. Even though I’m in pretty good shape for my age, I’m not a kid anymore. I love to run around and play sports, but I recover like an old guy—because I am an old guy. You can’t argue with me on this. There’s a reason why most professional athletes retire before the age of 40: physical activity takes its toll.
- Hair sucks— I’m not just talking about the crop up top, but also the grow down below (look out Dr. Seuss!). I know it’s gross to talk about ear, nose, and body hair, but it’s a horrible fact of life. Yes, I’m blessed with a relatively full head of hair (which is gaining more grays every year), but I’ve also been cursed with an increasing amount of hair in places I have no wish to grow them. And I’m not ashamed to admit I manscape. Someone’s gotta keep those weeds at bay. I swear though, it’s a never-ending battle that I know I won’t be able to win.
- Blindness blows— I had perfect eyesight my entire life—that is up until my early 40s. My early 40s! I always thought that yeah sure, I would probably need some type of optical assistance someday, but I never thought it would be that early in life. Let me just say, I have no problem with wearing eyeglasses. Spectacles have come a long way since I was teen (and since they were first called spectacles) and they can really enhance a person’s appearance. My problem is having to put them on so that I can read something—and then take them off in order to see everything else that isn’t right in front of me! It can be so maddening at times—especially in this day and age of cell phones where I’m trying to view tiny words and emojis.
The Top 3 Positives of Aging
- Feeling angstless in Seattle (and everywhere else)— Other than the fears of disease and death, there isn’t much I worry about. Seriously, I’ve lived long enough to know that shit happens. I’ve had my fair share of bad things happen to me, my family, friends, and co-workers. I know that life is hard. I’ve learned to roll with the punches—and believe me, I’ve been punched a lot. Yes, I have concerns. I try to be practical regarding each one of them. But I don’t let them build up to where I can’t sleep at night. Life is just too short. I fill my day with things that make me happy (like hanging out in my man cave) and keep me from overthinking the small stuff.
- Being comfy in my own skin— That’s one of the big differences between young people and oldies like me. I no longer have those moments of feeling like I’m not attractive or good enough or that I don’t belong here. I’ve been through a lot and I know there’s more ahead of me—similar to experiences I’ve had time and time again. Life, after all, is cyclical. And because I know how to act in like situations, I know that I’ll be okay. I know who I am. And I believe that wherever I go, I’ve earned the right to be there.
- Living ‘la vida sencilla‘— Honestly, having all that experience behind me has made it easier to put my life in perspective. It has allowed me to realize what’s most important to me. It’s not how much money I have or how much stuff I can attain (although having cash and things are both great.) It’s the people in my life that really count. Not the people themselves, but the little moments with them. The interactions. The conversations. The smiles. The looks. The nothing-really-happeneds. All that matters is that I’m here and that they’re here with me. They make me feel complete. What’s also important to me is how I make them feel. Not just my family, but everyone I come in contact with. I want them all to think well of me. To say, “Oh Wayne? He’s a good egg.” That means so much to me nowadays.
The Wayne Truth of the Matter
I often wonder how much time I have left on this Earth. I hope it’s a lot. You never know. That’s why I remind myself every morning when I wake (no matter how much pain my aging, crickity-crackity body is in) that I’m lucky—because I’ve just gotten another chance to do something good and to be with somebody great. That’s something that everyone, young or old, should keep in mind. The pros and cons of aging are unavoidable, but you should still live life to the fullest.
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