I visited my parents during vacation this month. They are transitioning to retirement. We commiserated on the weirdness of getting older. We compared daily supplements as Mom printed out info on cheap hearing aid batteries someone at her church asked about. She said the things they talk with others about, that used to be the stuff “old people” talked about.
As I sat at a stoplight, I realized I was staring at the BK I worked at 27 years ago. 27 YEARS AGO.I was part of the crew that opened it. I remember when that spot was a field, when the major street it borders was just 2 lanes. It still seems like a “new” place to me, unlike the McD’s across the street that’s “always been there” – at least as far back as I can remember.
I went to through a coffee drive thru and the barista was a friend’s daughter. I remember when she was 3 and couldn’t pronounce my name. She’s now out of high school. And it’s strange to me that the little sister of my best friend from jr high now has 3 kids.
And I still feel like a young’un around my parents.
“Wisdom is the reward for surviving our own stupidity.” – Brian Rathbone
It’s my birthday. I nixed taking Starbucks up on a free drink because I’m limiting caffeine intake – a challenging but pragmatic effort.
A friend theorized that time goes by so slowly when we’re young because a single day is a larger fraction of our life than when we are older. I think there’s merit to this idea. Plus, we have so much more to get done in a day the older we are.
Our days are not full of wonder the way they were when everything was a new experience. A friend posted a picture of a bunch of young kids looking intently through a chain link fence with a caption about a garbage truck having their rapt attention. I smiled when as I read it. I knew just what she meant.
How many days we waste as we age. I don’t just mean wasted doing nothing but wasted on the wrong things, with the wrong people. We are ever changing (hopefully). It is ok to change our circumstances to reflect what we value now. Hell, it’s commendable. There is no honor in enduring that which is no longer meaningful. It took me a long time to learn that lesson.
My next birthday will mark a decade since my “great awakening”. I intend to make this next year a grande finale to that decade. Is there a theme for this year? You betcha…
The older I get the more time I have to devote tending to my health – both in fixing problems and proactively trying to prevent new ones. I’ve had 2 ER visits this year and blew through my flex spending acct funds by mid summer. My dog, also not getting any younger, had 3 vet visits this year.
It was easy to take seemingly decent health for granted when I was younger. Not so anymore. About the only advice I heeded in my youth was to wear sunscreen. I’m glad I did, for I look younger than many of my peers. However, I wish I’d set up better eating and exercise habits decades ago. It’s not easy to undo less than skillful habits the older I get. However, with a birthday coming up and odds high that I’m in the second half of my life, it’s time. I know all the things that don’t work for those I am well versed it. Time to do something different.
As for what has me pondering this at the moment, it’s all the supplements sitting next to my laptop.
I’ve lived in my neighborhood for nearly 7 years. I think about moving out but I have such a good deal. Gentrification is hitting many neighborhoods including mine and I’m lucky to not be taking a direct hit. I think I’ll bide my time and save up funds. For what a lot of places charge for rent, it really does move into the range where getting a super cheap condo + utilities would cost less. I’m reluctant to own property because of the uncertainty of employment but under a certain price point, it would be manageable, unlike my house mortgage from a decade and a seeming lifetime ago.
Apartment living in a densely populated neighborhood has its challenges. My bedroom shares a wall with a neighbor’s kitchen. I was walking my dog last week and a woman pushing a bike down the street yelled, “What are you staring at? Do you want your ass kicked?” I hadn’t been staring but I started. This isn’t high school. The next day I saw her again, this time crossing the street right in front of my car. Good thing I’m not the vindictive, amoral type. The whole setup made me laugh. There’s always someone “off” in the neighborhood and it’s a bit like whack-a-mole. Eventually they move on and another one shows up.
I’m back. Sort of. Working on getting back to regular posting about Minnesota and life. Please leave a comment and say hi.