When Time Runs Out
Yea, 30 is the new 20. 40 is the new 30. …And 50?
See, that’s a harder pill to swallow, at least to my mind. While there are innumerable rites associated with aging…and this has to go back eons, there’s a point where in your own mind if nowhere else, you have to concede that the gig is up, and now you’re an “elder” member of society.
And while there’s a certain discontent, going from “the new 30s” to elder status in a day, there’s also a certain embrace of the thing for me that I’m finding comfortable. Perhaps it’s time. Can family and society be comprised only of “young people?” Can one still be young at heart while at very least, show some elder maturity; some wisdom; some sense that one has had some experiences, learned a lesson or two and that just perhaps, it’s worth listening to?
This goes even to listening to one’s self. I wish I’d an inkling 5-10 years ago of what I now understand as the constant cycling of global markets, rises and falls (randomness, in a word). I’d easily be 1/2 million richer. Instead, I find myself scrambling to recapture what I already had in my grasp (and bank account). Then again, the lesson I now take home seems not that far off from what I observed in terms of the behavior of my four grandparents who had survived a massive World War (that renders us all pussies in comparison, by mere circumstance), along with a global depression of huge proportion as icing. Most oft, I saw their behavior as outdated, fear motivated, or even quaint and cutely endearing. Not profoundly wise as I do now. My bust.
I’d have always loved to have been willing and of sufficient gut to be the big risk taker…so long as I came out on top; or alternatively, been quickly devastated so as to recognize clear failure quickly and reverse course. But how often does that former instance work out and, perhaps I watch too many movies. In reality, I did take risks, lots of ’em, and for the most part, managed. But I feel as though I played too much of a middle road, never making it HUGE, never putting so much on the line as to potentially knock the fuckin’ shit out of myself, so that I could try something else entirely. But in many ways, it feels beyond that, now. I have responsibilities.
I suppose I still could. That’s an ongoing internal debate. But it’s not for now, at least in this post. Right now is the time I reflect on what is, how it came to be like this, and what I can do now. And that has a lot to do with taking serious account of experience and paying the fuck attention to it.
Now, “50-years-old” is as arbitrary as anything else. For instance, you’re not incompetent to drive a car one day and fully vested in trust the next, when you turn 16. And it’s not like you can’t handle a few serious beverages at 20 years and 364 days but magically, get a super-liver, metabolic godhood and some fine sense in a day.
We have many arbitrary rites of passage in our world. How was it way back when? Well, I suppose they could have and did count the passing of seasons. Puberty would have been a biggie, for obvious reasons (more hunters, more gatherers…musta been cool for the guys back then). But how about the more nebulous reasons after that? I dunno, but I would surely like to imagine that age was knowledge. That would be a perfectly meritorious means of counting for age. You could easily imagine there being a 10 years or more range in terms of physical age, plus or minus, counting on just knowledge, experience, effectiveness, success and results.
But now we’re a collectivized equivalent of an ant hill or bee hive, and you have your place. And some bees & ants are created more “equal” than others, and they have parents, relatives and friends of influence in the hill & hive. And your place changes with age and decrepitude. We have arbitrary ages for everything and they count for nothing real except the arbitrary turning of the Earth around the Sun (at least we finally got that right). It goes hand-in-hand with the neolithic notion that we’re subjects who require masters; and far from being able to manage individual prowess, they arbitrarily assign age. It’s the given, now.
And so that’s of course why I fought it for so long and in fact, did a good job I think in making the last 3-4 years of my 40s pretty remarkable, counting my own progress, the growth of this blog resource, and the many hundreds who have reported their own results — even for many long ago “Old Fuckers.”
So in the end, this post is somewhat of a thinking out loud. In all my reflections over the past weeks the issue of this blog has never been in doubt — only how to continue to grow it and build influence while keeping the fuck-you spirit alive. I have no idea how to do it other than to simply do what I do. Passing this threshold only makes me more serious about my reality of life (fuck that “gift” shit). In turn, that makes me more serious about those things I pay a lot of attention to and spend a lot of time on.
To sum it all up into something very simple: I’m somewhat in awe that I’ve reached this age at the physical and mental state I am. I am as lean as I was in college, far stronger than any time in my life, feel great all the time (excepting the current neck & shoulder issue that will pass), and yet have some uncertainties about what I really want to do.
Even simpler: Make the 2nd 50 even better than the first.
Good luck, 20-fucking-sumthings. If you’re smart, realize the questions never end: they just become different. And if you’re smarter, you know that already. And if you’re the rare smartest, you’re trying to anticipate and resolve them even now. And good for you if you are.
I want to take a moment to thank all the commenters in my recents post for one, wishing me a happy birthday…and it was, in spite of pain (but I self medicated). For second, I got all sorts of advice and insight on my shoulder injury and so much of it was useful. As it stands now, I likely have no shoulder injury, but rather something causing a sort of nerve impingement/inflammation around c4-5 in my neck. It was the guys at Janzen & Janzen who figured that out, without imaging. But in poking, prodding and putting pressure on those areas of my neck, they can send me into writhing pain the likes of which is precisely what I have been feeling combined with an excruciating intensity I have never felt. Most likely a herniated disc in the region, since x-ray revealed no bone abnormality.
Next up: an MRI (and a prescription of Vicodin)
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