In the past few weeks I have become more aware of getting older.
Let me rephrase that. I am keenly aware that I am now a sojourner in Old Motherfucker territory.
It’s fine. Really, it is. My wife is 25, so right away I’m leagues above my fellow middle-aged travelers. Having a young wife confers many anti-aging properties. I’m blessed. Don’t take this little rant as a complaint.
It’s good to grow old. I get the senior citizen discount at Piggly Wiggly and the local movie theater. Nothing wrong with that. The joke is on them. I still love the cereals I ate as a kid, and I still love comic book movies and superheroes. It’s like everyone thinks you undergo this transformation when you turn 50. I can’t stress this enough: I’m pretty much the same guy I was at 20.
But, there are moments.
Ongoing health issues have forced me to see quite a few doctors in recent weeks. On my last visit to my primary physician the nurse informed me that my blood pressure was high. Not stroke high, but high. That made me think about giving up smoking six months ago.
That’s right, kiddies. I haven’t touched a cigarette since last September. 9/11, in fact. I remember because that’s my mother-in-law’s birthday. I feel good, but damn. Isn’t my blood pressure supposed to come down?
I’ve gained about 30 pounds, too. What’s up with that? Have we got a deal for you! Quit smoking! Your blood pressure will go up and you’ll eat enough fried food to clog the arteries of every man,woman, and child in Tokyo, but you’ll live longer!
I’m not gonna lie. I asked Amy, “What’s the point?” Almost immediately I realized that she’s the point. She needs me to be here, and I want to be here, so no smoking for me.
The other morning she asked me if I wanted coffee. When I said yes, my wife wanted to know what kind. There are two kinds of coffee in our house these days, leaded and unleaded. I chose the go-go kind – hey, it was the morning – and decided to save the decaf for the evening time. The point is that there was a choice.
Last night I took all the pills from our medicine cabinet and began a new weekly ritual of filling the pill organizer. The last prescription was the straw that broke my memory’s back.
A freaking pill organizer.
I’m tempted to punish my traitorous body by slipping a high-powered laxative into one of the pill slots. Sort of like diarrhea roulette. Do you feel lucky, punk?
Friends, when you reach a point where you consider giving yourself the squirts out of spite…oh, how the mighty have fallen.
It is at times like these when I must pause to remember that life at any age is to be lived, as Hemingway said, all the way up. There are still things to celebrate.
I’ll leave you with an observation from the Traveling Wilburys:
Well, it’s all right even if you’re old and gray. Yeah, it’s all right. You still got something to say.