Thursday, August 2, 2018

Some Thoughts On Getting Older

This was in the Orlando Sentinel April 18, 2019.

Every day when I look in the mirror I think, "Who is this old guy?"

Every day.

Kids think you've always been old.

Have you ever thought of your parents just being boyfriend and girlfriend? Before they became mom and dad to you?

They were young once.

Sneaking out of the house, doing things they shouldn't have been doing, fake IDs that said they were 21 when they weren't, staying out late.


Might as well get this out of the way early but when you're young you never think you'll ever be old. Inside every older person is a kid who just grew up.

Another thing is you couldn't fathom that older people still think like they did when they were younger. If you liked peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, with a side of milk, when you were younger, you're still in the kitchen making that combo when you're old.

I go to the Y almost everyday to get my sweat on and the place is full of folks my age or older.  There are younger sweating people scattered about but it's mainly my crew trying to hold off tomorrow. Daily exercise helps you to punch that beer ticket later or maybe have some cookies or ice cream after dinner.

It also helps you to keep the bad health bugga-boos at bay.

I remember before moms and dads wore sneakers and worked out. My parents were from the generation that smoked cigarettes, drank whiskey, and ate steak. You'll find people who still do that but let's just say you've been warned.

I never saw my mother or my father run.

Or sweat for that matter. If they did, it was because it was hot outside but never from exercise. Exercise to most people of that era was pushing a cart around the grocery store or lifting a cold drink.

No more.


This is something I had to get used to. When I see a 50 year old woman now, she is a younger woman. When I was a young hotshot I never, ever, thought that one day I would see a grandmother that I thought was kinda cute.

I was wrong.

Another thing about getting older is that people start to disappear.

Your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, your wife, your husband, your best friend. It seems like one day they're here. And then they're not. Something else they don't tell you when you're younger.

When you were in your early twenties all kinds of things came into play.
l-r Debbie Beller, Pat Benatar, me, the great Todd Fowler.
I was 25 and a DJ in Detroit.

Stay up all night? Nolo problemo. You just shook your head to clear the cobwebs and off you went. Stay up late now? A hurting cowboy shows up the next day. One who needs a nap. And nobody told me about lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, being wide awake at three in the morning, with a head full of nonsense that just won't go away.

Hurt yourself when you're young? No big deal. I think the phrase is 'play through the pain.' Easy said, easy done. A hang nail will do you in now when you're older, and you'll limp for like forever if it's anything worse.

Do I sound bleak? Hopeless? Guess again.

I left the best for last.

This.beats.the.alternative.



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