Being middle-aged comes with the realizations of harsh realities. Some of which I’ve worked myself into enough of a funk to list out here:
- You ARE, in fact, more than half as old as you might reasonably expect to ever be.
- In 20 years, you’ll wish you are as old as you are now, and will, in fact, regard your 40’s a ‘the good old days.’
- You no longer ‘bounce back’ from injuries and, perhaps, will spend rather a lot of time talking about, or making odd noises because of, either acute or chronic pain or a disturbingly loud noise coming from a place that’s never made noises before.
- Speaking of noises, your GI tract will being making lots and lots of them. There is absolutely nothing you can do about this. Congratulations!
- Your butt cheeks will begin a love affair with the tops of your thighs, so much so that they never want to be apart and will spend an embarrassing amount of time trying to kiss each other.
- Also, no matter what your gender, your boobs will travel, and they, like many travelers, will enjoy the southern climates the most. Be prepared for this and accept that if you’re a man the time has come to keep the tee-shirt on, and if you’re a woman those ta-ta’s that once were your best asset probably look more like a tennis ball in a tube sock, if the tube sock has lost most of its elastic. Covering up becomes key.
- Your face also will start a long slow trip to the South Pole, ending up mostly under your chin. Again, there is almost nothing you can do about this.
- Two words: pot belly.
- The career you tried so hard to build has probably reached its peak about now. From here on in it’s all about maintaining the status quo until retirement age, which, if you’re lucky, will be by the time you’re 70. Perk up though – that’s only another 25 years or so! Just think, 25 years ago you were probably in your 20’s, a fresh-faced, wet-behind-the-ears, green punk who though they knew it all and had yet to have the will to live sucked from them by a series of increasingly dull corporate gigs you accepted for the valuable insurance plans and 401K offerings. Now you KNOW better than to dream you're still on the way up, and therefore can relax a little! Carpe bierem! Drink up, because that’s about as good as you’re going to feel all day!
- Only you CAN’T drink anymore because you have high blood pressure, or are pre-diabetic, or because that pot belly ain’t going away on its own.
- Not like you’d have any friends to get drunk with anyhow, because they’ve all gone teetotal in an effort to recapture the youth they wasted getting wasted and squandering their potential.
Yes, I am a ball of red-hot joy that you daren’t get too close to because oooh, baby, it might BURN with the fire of long-gone passionate desire for world change or a REALLY good veggie taco, and then you’ll get all sad for the stuff you wish you’d done.
Well, listen up sisters and brothers, and listen up good, I'm here to offer you some advice on that mindset, and it's this: knock it off.
Yeah, you're not as young as you once were (because, taking that to its logical conclusion, if you were as young as you ever were you'd not be able to read this post (hyperbole is my FRIEND!)) but you're still WAY young enough to do what it is you always wanted to do. Don’t wait until you’re forced into making a bucket list. Do those things now, as a glorious elder, stunning middle-ager, vivacious youth, whatever. Who cares that some folks might not think it seemly, or wise, or practical, or even noble? Who says that life as a slightly older person has to lose its zing and that you have to live it to propriety's rules? NOBODY says so, that's who. And parts of that nobody should be you. You have DREAMS, baby, aspirations, dangerous and foolhardy things to do! What are you waiting for? Someone to ASK you to name the thing? OK, I'll bite.
What DO you want to do with the rest of your life?
Me, I’m writing a book. I have thus decided. And if the old adage of 'write what you know' is any guide to follow, the book will likely be about cat pee, dust, naps, and laundry.
Yeah baby - best-seller list all the way.