Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Golden Years

For those of you who do not know, I am both a father and a grandfather (and a proud one). It is therefore no surprise to find out that I am no longer a young man. (Hell, I have reached the point where the BMV has made me change the color of hair on my driver's license from blonde to gray.) The world tells me that I am now entering my "Golden Years". What a joke! Entering this period of life is a lot like entering a convenience store, while still in your car. Here's what my golden years mean to me:

- I can no longer put off admitting the fact that I will be retiring far too soon for the amount of money that I have saved for this purpose. I am therefore terrified at the prospect of resting from labors that are getting harder to perform every year.  

- Maintaining my health in order to perform these labors is becoming a more expensive proposition every day. I am not making choices between health care and food yet, but it takes a full-time job to pay the medical profession enough to enable me to work a full-time job.

- Exercise is no longer something that I do to attempt to look good to members of the opposite sex (not that it ever worked anyway), but something I do to keep from falling into further disrepair. My body now has more creaks and groans than a stairway in the before version of a "This Old House" project.

- Eating is no longer a behavior that I look forward to with any real enjoyment or without consideration as to the quality or quantity of what is consumed. Instead it is something that I do with trepidation; fearing that something that I eat might not be healthy enough, that it might not be prepared in the healthful way, or that I might eat too much of it. I know that anything that might be tasty, fun, or bad for me will have an immediate impact on both my health and my weight. (Hell, I can gain weight and cholesterol by even looking at a slice of cheesecake. Fortunately I like to think of myself of living proof of an expanding economy.)

- Any esteem that I am held in at work is as much about my age as my ability these days. I may get called 'sir' from time to time, but not because of any respect that I might be held in. Instead it would more likely only be because my co-workers are younger than my children.

- Not being currently part of a "couple", I am also faced with the prospect of attempting to create a social life without even the limited benefits of my youth. (I would have added "and good looks", but there is no point in lying. After all, my pictures on the blog page.) For those of you who are not in the same boat, let me tell you that this may be the scariest thing of all. I won't bore you with the sad details of my pitiful life (Can you hear the violins playing?), but let me say that whether I have little blue pills handy is the least of my concerns.

In the end, the only thing that comes to mind are the words of an old country song: "My head hurts, my feet stink, and I don't love Jesus". I don't remember any of the rest of the song, but I think that you're getting the message. If these are the Golden Years, then I think that I probably got gypped. 

These years could more appropriately be titled the "Oh Shit Years". If I am aging like fine wine, then somebody is letting some air through the cork, and there's the smell of vinegar in the air. Don't get me wrong, this beats the hell out of taking a dirt nap; but I can't say that I would recommend it to anyone I know. The only real positive that I can think of is a bit of wisdom that I came up with some time back: "The only advantages that I may have in an argument are the assumptions of a diminished capacity and memory loss."

Hey wait a minute! Maybe it's just me. Perhaps in my special case, it's Fool's Gold instead of the real thing. (Yes, that could be interpreted in a couple of ways, and probably should be.) Yep, that would explain it.


Hooda Thunkit said...

My hope is that I live long enough to become a burden to my children ;-)

When they call them "The Golden Years," they always whisper the "Showers" part...

Tim Higgins said...

An admirable goal and one I wish you well in.

I fear that in my own case it is far more likely that I will begin to assume room temperature at my desk, and that I will only be discovered when the stench becomes unbearable.