Saturday, October 26, 2013

How NOT To Turn 45 (or How I Got Old In Three Weeks)

Aging is something I never really thought about very much until the past six or so months. Before that, I was one of those people that believed numbers are numbers and how you feel and perceive the world says more about you than an age. To some degree, I'll hold that as true, but we have to face reality. Being in your 40's basically means you are probably at the half way point and more than likely, you are past it. That can be a startling reality when you let it seep in and you start taking stock of who you were at 30 and who you are in your mid-40's. 

I guess I should have seen the train wreck that has been my last month or so coming. I am not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point in the past year I started saying my age was 45 when I was asked. I didn't turn 45 until recently. Why was I doing this? I didn't make a conscious effort to do it. I just started saying it. It didn't bother me at all to do so. Maybe my mind was preparing me.....taking care of me, well aware that I have an underlying fear of growing older and furthermore, death. I have been brave in the face of what I thought was catastrophe with death imminent, but that only served to mask my internal thoughts about how and when I may kick the bucket and how lonely that moment may feel. 

Anyway, this isn't about death, it's about aging and how to deal with it. Forty-five. No going back. There are things that I can't really do anymore to my satisfaction. That depresses me. There are things I should have done, even as late as 5 years ago, that I have not done. That depresses me. I see a road in front of me paved with an attitude that has me playing out the string. Hell, if I live to be 70, that's another 25 years of waiting. Holy fuck!! 25 years and I'll be 70!! When did this happen? Nobody told me when I peaked, but they sure don't have to tell me I'm on the way down the slide. 

In some ways, I am who I want to be. In many ways, I'm not. In the past month I have taken stock of most of the things related to my life. From something as simple as the books I read to things as complex as my marriage and relationships with my extended family. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not throwing a pity party. I just can't help but feel this 45 thing strongly. I have a lot going on for me, and I know it. Great wife. Great kids. Great friends. A nice job. A healthier relationship with my extended family. I have a fairly comfortable life. So why the roller coaster emotionally? If you know, throw me a life line! The things I have been enjoying most for the past few years, I have backed away from, as if I were being over indulgent in my own happiness or satisfaction. I've felt "in my own head" a lot more and not really wanting to share with anyone. Perhaps the death of my grandfather has thrown a monkey wrench into my psyche. My link to my beloved grandma is now gone. That portion of my life is forever gone. Did I somehow equate my grandparents being alive to my being "young" with most of my life in front of me? The closest connection to her is gone. I've had three consecutive nights of dreams where my grandpa was present. What's that all about? Is it just another part of what is dogging me? Is there something I am missing that has me so withdrawn? I don't know. Do other people go through this? When will these odd feelings pack up their shit and move on? 

I know, I's just a damn number. It just seems like an awfully scary number for me. I sort of have to accept that I can never be the same person I was, even if I wanted to. That ability slipped away when I wasn't looking. Didn't even bother to leave a note!


  1. Youthful exuberance is a naked physical, hormonal fact of life. You can wake up in love with the world every day, when you're young, with a bracing sense that you yourself have no limits. It's also reasonably true, lol, which makes it even cooler.

    Later, your life decisions and the branches taken become more obvious and you get a chance to collect the evidence and make some conclusions. It therefore becomes something more akin to "meaningful", rather than the thrill of opening opportunities. Personally, I believe having kids at a later age prolongs life - and keeps that juice running because you wake up next to it every day in the flesh.

    But making conclusions is almost cheating because they will tend to offer wisdom, owing to your list of mistakes, lol. This is also pretty damned rewarding if you can forgive yourself.

  2. Thanks for the comments Steve. You know, there are times I should write just so I can read your response! I don't see life as a journey nearly enough. I often see it as one long moment that I'm in.

  3. Bravo, my 40th screwed me up, I guess as a musician, you always have to look, feel, and act 28 years old. At 43 I lucked into a quick midlife crisis and got it over with. I'll still be a guitarist the day I die,and because I'm a stubborn, always working to be better, guitarist, I'll be at my best 5 minutes before the reaper greets me.