How The Hell Did I Get This Old?

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How The Hell Did I Get This Old?

If I ever get my hands on Father Time he’ll pay big time for schlepping me kicking and screaming into the so-called Golden Years.

Did you ever notice that life is like a roll of toilet paper? The closer you get to the end the faster it goes. So you’re asking yourself if I’m comparing life to toilet paper, which would be the obvious conclusion and yet you’d be wrong. Life is far more complex than paper and the ability to explain or analyze it as a phenomenon is for wiser minds than mine.

However that said, life isn’t without its moments of perplexing and insufferable crap, but I shall choose the high road and say that as one nears the end of the journey we are left with a conundrum…if we were given the chance for a do over, would we?

So as we face the goldest part of our golden years filled with wisdom, experience and a sheer and flagrant who-gives-a-damn-anymore attitude are we truly prepared to jump back on for another ride on the scariest merry go round of all, youth?

Of course most agree that another shot at life would be counterproductive if we couldn’t do the do over with the information we’ve garnered from this ride, so I’d probably wonder if it were worth making that journey without benefit of what I’ve learned and even a few lifeline calls to a friend along the way.

Not sure I’d want to go through natural childbirth again, but I hope next time around I’d opt for an epidural from their conception until they finish high school.

Ah, but would I, you see that’s the rub, because who’s to say one wouldn’t make even worse decisions than before and find an even more challenging life waiting as we begin again?

And of course what a journey it is and the trite and misguided belief that we’d do things differently given the chance doesn’t hold much water for the simple reason most of us never do when we are given the chance every day.

That’s the catch of course. We wake up each morning more wise and experienced than the day before, at least that’s the theory, and yet most of us cling to the same paradigms and behaviors that have created our lives.

Larry David one of the most gifted and out-there comic minds of my generation took on this topic on Seinfeld in the fifth season. Entitled The Opposite, Jerry proposes the theory to George Costanza, “If every instinct you have is wrong than the opposite would have to be right.”

In simplicity there is genius. Of course when he enacts this new mindset his life changes for the better and all is well for George.

Yet, although this seems like a great solution done in a comic forum, we actually are faced with this choice each day. In the end it can work to a degree, but the problem may be that just doing the opposite is not always an option.

Not every choice in life is black and white, up or down, yes or no. So many of the decisions we make are sideways and complex, requiring so much more than a simplistic way of thinking.

Doing the opposite doesn’t mean choosing one thing over another because it can also pertain to behavior choices.

If you walk down the street with your head down, perhaps you might try lifting it up, saying hello and smiling at passersby. I’m not certain that would change your life, but because someone may have needed your smile that day to make a life changing decision of their own it was a good decision. May even garner you a few positive karma points.

So in the end often what we do doesn’t just affect us alone.

If we have the chance for a do over every day of our lives how many actually embrace the opportunity? Since I can’t find any study done on the issue I’ll surmise not many.

Every experience in our lives is the opportunity for change and growth. A lesson learned either to be embraced or discarded and we make that choice constantly.

The answer to whether or not you’d live your life over isn’t yes or no, it’s have you been doing that already.

I’m a firm believer in instinct. That little feeling or whisper in the pit of your stomach that tells you when something isn’t kosher. Of course so many of us just tell the voice saying, “don’t do it,” to shut up and go blindly ahead only to regret our decision later.

What in the world would ever make us think that simply coming back into the world starting anew would be different, whether or not we had prior knowledge?

I’ve heard people say, “so and so has great instincts.” So begs the question did they actually hone them or were they some sort of cosmic gift to allow them to make better choices. Perhaps it’s a bit of both in the end, but I do believe that it’s never too late to change.

I as many others have made some pretty pretty bad choices in my life and of course we all pay a price. Very few of us escape unscathed from our own bad decisions yet too many continue to act on instincts that have proven unwise in the past.

I needn’t list them because I have neither the time nor enough memory in my computer, but we all have our own little box of bad choices to rummage through.

Since I’m actually so much older than I ever thought possible I’ve decided to use my situation for the best. From now on I’m opposite Norma and I shall indulge myself in a bit of an experiment. When faced with a choice I’ll simply ask what would I usually do and create an option quite out of character. Will it work? Who knows, because in the end I believe some choices are made for us somewhere in some cosmic storehouse that contains the road map for our life. Yes we have free will, or do we? That’s a question neither old Norma nor opposite Norma would even attempt to answer.

So because getting old allows for a what-the-hell attitude toward life, I’m game for most things now. Although there’s tons of new scary stuff out there in this crazy world I have to remind myself it’s no different for any generation.

We are all born into one world and wind up leaving another.

So have fun and try something new or choose not to, your choice.

Getting old has many benefits, not the least of which is not giving a damn what anyone says and doing exactly as you choose. We fear no one and we ain’t afraid of no ghosts.

Just don’t tell your children what you’re up to and have a ball.

 

 

 

 

This Getting Old is Really Getting Old!

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I’m really not one to complain, unless of course, someone is listening.

Okay, so I really need to stop answering my phone.

The other day I learned that two people I know died, one of my best friends in having surgery and the world is coming to an end on January fifth, 2088.

Since the world has ended numerous times in my lifetime that one is not really an issue, but this picking up the phone and finding out people are sick and dying really has to end.

Oh I know there is no way to stop the Grim Reaper. He does know where you are at all times, so I guess he’s the GPS for humanity. And there’s no blocking or turning off his signal.

Once upon a time long ago I actually got out of bed in the morning without stopping three times to check and see why parts of me weren’t cooperating in the effort. Now it’s a slow and painful process. When I actually make contact with the floor, it’s not exactly like a kiss from Prince Charming, and my feet spend at least the next five minutes complaining bitterly until they give up and just settle into a low hum of pain for the rest of the day.

Being from Detroit I know of what I speak. Just like cars are planned for obsolescence so are people. None of us is built to last forever, even if we are built Ford Tough.

Sure, you say, some people are full of piss and vinegar right up till the end, and to that I say bull crap. Even if one cultivates a good attitude toward aging, as we get older we are all just schlepping through life looking for replacement parts as we go.

I now know very few people that are not bionic in some form; new knees, valves, hips, stints,

shoulders and even wrists are as available as a sucked-up, tucked-up blond in a room full of ninety-year-old millionaires.

Dentures have been replaced with implants, hair plugs have it all over toupees and women tattoo their eyebrows on. It’s a world of new tech, new times and new inventions to keep us believing we are not actually aging.

Aha! Don’t be fooled because your body is laughing all the way to the plastic surgeon’s office. “Forget the neck lift,” it is saying. “I have a whole new hip in store for you soon.”

I know women who scotch tape their necks for an instant lift. I am thinking of inventing flesh colored duct tape to hold up my touchas every day. Bet it would sell great.

The newest great invention seems to be adult underwear, aka diapers. Oh sure they’ve disguised them with pretty little designs and flowers, but honey we all know they are Pampers 2.0. I thought that was the nursing home wardrobe. What’s the hurry to start wearing plastic panties? A few flowers and I’m supposed to get excited about this new lingerie? Ooh, I feel sexy.

Even though we look like we’re twenty years younger thanks to Botox, fillers, lifts and medical magic, inside our bodies are decaying faster than Senor Happy tooth in a sea of Godiva chocolate.

So what is there to do to reverse the aging process?

We could call Harry Potter to bring his wand, but I am too far gone for that. Magic can only go so far.

Some hang at the gym and believe they can walk faster than Father Time, thus beating him to the punch. Okay, I’m game.

I’m here at the gym and it’s very foreign to me. I’m not sure what language they’re speaking in this strange new land. Just a minute I can catch one word here, downward dog. Yes, I know that one; it’s a Yoga term. It means squatting like a dog until your toes break off on the mat. I remember even trying that once. Couldn’t walk for a week.

Just a second someone is climbing on a treadmill and wait he’s setting the incline. I thought just walking a straight line was enough of a challenge. Damn the man’s walking up hill. I’m getting heart flutters just watching him. I need to find somewhere to sit.

I feel the duct tape on my ass coming lose and I think I should go into the bathroom to fix it. If it falls off as I’m walking that would be embarrassing. Damn a piece is hanging out from under my shorts. I knew I should have worn spandex. I’ll just wrap the towel around my bottom and walk slowly.

Oy, they’re all looking at me now. Damn that man is cute and now he thinks I’m some kind of freak who walks around with a towel covering my tush.

Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. I think my retail cardio is better. I’m going to the mall and walk around shopping for an hour or two. Who needs this when I can just park a little farther away from the door and burn off those extra calories? Plus, I know the language there better.

Sale, twenty off today, escalator, food court; these are words I can work with and feel comfortable around.

Okay, don’t start writing letters and leaving nasty comments on social media, I know exercise is valuable as one ages, but fun? I don’t think so! If it were designed to be fun it would contain some type of chocolate as part of the process.

I think getting old is difficult because it creeps up on us like a Hari Krishna at the airport. You never see it coming until it’s too late and the wrinkles are there, staring back at you, smirking because they crossed the finish line while you simply blinked.

There is a way to avoid the sight if you stop using the devil’s favorite invention: the magnifying mirror. I’m sure he’s proud of that one. God took pity on us and made our eyesight worse as we get older, thereby not seeing wrinkles. Oh, but the devil said, “what a great opportunity to do evil.” and there you have it. You will notice that a Nobel Prize was never awarded for that invention.

I have never heard one person I know say, “I expected this getting old thing to happen sooner. What took so long?”

Nope, it’s more like, “when the hell did this happen? I never saw it coming. Yesterday I was young and swinging in the backyard with my kids, and now there is some strange, old person staring back at me in the mirror.”

I know we all would rather be here than somewhere else, destination unknown, but the journey always seems so short looking back.

I have no answers except maybe the duct tape if I can perfect it, but I guess we all have to be grateful to be here to complain and check out the new crop of wrinkles. If you find the fountain of youth, send me a map and I’ll pass it along to my readers. Until then, think young, stay young, enjoy life and throw away that damn-magnifying mirror.