Thoughts on 38 and the Myths of Aging

Tomorrow is my birthday. I’ll wait for the applause and cheers to die down… I’m going to be 38 which doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. It doesn’t feel much different than 28 did. My life is completely different but I don’t believe the inner me has changed all that much. I know the outer me hasn’t as I’m told all the time how young I look.

I’d like to point out one thing: I may not look my age but I definitely feel it physically. No, it’s not fair that I still pass for early 20s, especially in dim lighting. Otherwise I hear anywhere from 24-28. I like that range. I agree that everyone should be all haggard looking by the time they’re 40. Oh wait, I really don’t. It’s all in the genetic dice toss with a touch of free will and I thank both of those items regularly.

So, back on point. “What do you think about aging?”

I’m so glad you asked. I think I’d rather age than not, for one. For two, I find it very, very interesting. I’ve listened to comics and people talk about growing older for years and I’ve been trying to watch for the signs.

1: Boobs begin to sag. Nope, not when you still qualify for a training bra.

2: Hair goes gray overnight. Well, it started doing that before I turned 18. OH! There’s an anniversary I never thought about. 20 years since I started dying my hair. Awesome sauce.

3: Drive slower. I haven’t noticed this proclivity with myself. Unless you count the Sunday drivers I am constantly stuck behind. I also don’t forget my blinker is on or my gas cap is open. Just saying.

4: Eyesight goes. Actually, my eyesight went while I was in first grade, I think. Believe it or not, as I’ve grown older my eyes, though they haven’t gotten better, have stopped getting worse. I’ll take it.

5: Weird body pain. I don’t know that I’d call it weird as I was in that car accident and should still have some aches and pains 8 months later. However, before that, I will say that I have noticed my body gradually telling me I can’t do certain things. Lifting heavy objects and the like. Then again I weigh 105 soaking wet and probably shouldn’t have done that anyway. It’s only as I aged that things started tearing and popping however.

6: New music sucks. Disagree. I discover new artists all the time that are young and/or hip. Oh shit, did I say hip? There’s that age thing.

7: Begin most stories with, “in my day,” or worse quotes. Okay, guilty but I’ve done this for years. I started traveling when I was 18. I have visited and lived in a large number of states. Most of my stories start with “when I was in Arizona…” or a different state/time period.

8: Tall tales get bigger. I have no idea what you’re talking about. In my youth we caught a 6 foot long bass in a 3 foot deep crick. Honest.

9: Use old fashioned words like “crick”. It means creek, which is a small river. Sheesh. I read a lot and I tend to use odd words in every day conversation. I was once told I’m the only person someone had heard who correctly used the words “spat out” in reference to a baby not liking a certain food. As opposed to spit. Small difference but whatever.

10: Butt gets bigger. I wish. My weight hasn’t changed since high school, nor has it redistributed itself.

11: Parents were right about everything. Pretty much, yes. And most of what my grandparents taught me still applies as well. Be 15 minutes early for any appointed time arrangement (work, interview, school, doc appt, whatever). Get in your lane well in advance of when you’ll need to turn. Put socks and a hat on babies. The older I get the more I realize it’s all common sense stuff and I’m glad it stuck.

12: Babies get cuter. Babies are always cute. The ones related to me, however, are super models. I’d post pictures but I don’t want your nieces and nephews to pale in comparison.

13: Regret not having kids. Nope, not even an itch. As much as I have these great genes to pass on, it’s just not for me. I love kids but that
would be other people’s children. I’d throw down my life to save one of the munchkins and I’d raise them if needed but the word to note is needed.

14: Weird hairs sprout. I have one on my hand that’s weird otherwise I’ll say genes again.

15: The next generation makes no sense/is lazy/will be the death of us all. Actually, I believe the Millennials will be our salvation. Gen X may be too close to some of the baby boomer stuff. Either way, something’s gotta give as the current system is floundering.

16: Politics become more Conservative. I’ve always believed the best idea wins. Sometimes it comes from the Left, sometimes Right. Lately it’s been the Left but I tend to want to vote split ticket on things. So no, my politics haven’t changed.

I’m sure there are more of these thoughts and myths about aging. Stereotypes and cliches. Everyone ages their own way. Fighting it does no good as what’s the alternative? I’m not sure that I’m comfortable with pouting that I lived another year because of what the flips side is. It being my not being here. I am WAY too curious about the future for that so I’ll take 38 and add part of a quote from Animal House. “Please, sir, may I have another!”

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