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Hard Time with Third-Age

I figure I'm not middle-aged, I'm third-aged. I plan to live to at least 120. But whatever the case, in just a couple of days (and both of them very busy) I will be 40.

I think I'm having a little bit of a problem with that. Last night, and I forget the context, I saw something about a man bringing his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to the same diner he has always enjoyed. I considered that a fair number of my relatives have died young, and relatively few lived to much of an age. My mother, dead quite young. My father's father in his 50's. So. I mean, if I don't take care of myself, that could be me, and even assuming I manage to have kids, I might never meet my grandchildren. This was sobering and horrible.

Add on to that a sudden onset of nostalgia. The dog, normally sweet-tempered and charming, was being a cross-grained bastard this morning, so I had to give him some time in the yard before I left for work. I randomly flicked to some food-channel program about a steakhouse somewhere or other. And I remembered, so vividly - the dim lighting, varnished wood booths, bric-a-brac on the walls and enormous beer steins of a place called Stanley's, in Delaware, that my friend Scott and I used to go to with the lads after gaming all day on Saturdays. Particularly I remembered a crisp fall evening, when we were all piled into a booth with leather jackets hanging on hooks, and sweaters on - sharing potato skins, hot wings, and beer. I miss those guys, I haven't seen or heard from any of them in years. I miss those times; I accomplished little but had relatively few worries, and plenty of good friends, and plenty of free time.

And everything today is a slog and an effort. Hard work for worthwhile rewards, of course - but god, I'm just...worn out today. I was so profoundly wistful for those uncomplicated times, I sat on my couch and wept. Arriving at work emotionally bruised only to find that there was no coffee to be had anywhere in the building, that due to technical nonsense I wouldn't be able to pay my bills on time this month - plenty of money but changing bank accounts around hasn't worked out as it was supposed to - that I have to fundamentally change how I eat and exercise, or die very soon, or anyway far too soon - that there is ever more work to do, and never more time in which to do it - that I will never be 26 again, probably never go to Stanley's again, probably never see those friends again.

None of this is disastrous, I know. I am not getting out of a troop transport on Omaha Beach, I am not grievously ill, I am not impoverished or out of work, or homeless. I am, in fact, absurdly fortunate. But today, the thousand paper-cuts is just too much. Scott, Andre, Rob - let's go down to Stanley's and play the trivia game! I'll buy the first round. To hell with tomorrow, it's coming all too soon.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 11th, 2011 01:48 am (UTC)
Never make the mistake of assuming that because your pain is somehow "less critical" that you are less deserving of compassion for what you suffer. This is an oft-used escape -- "Well, at least you're not a starving child in India." You and I may not be, but that does not do anything to lessen the intensity of the sorrow and pain that we can feel as humans.

Now, you just have to find your equilibrium. :)
Aug. 11th, 2011 06:40 am (UTC)
I'm gonna get meta on this one, because I'm too tired to make it work otherwise, so:

Profound and Uplifting comment regarding how I wished we were in your shoes during our conversation concerning a particular neighborhood yesterday, which is intended to make you feel better by comparison.


Aug. 11th, 2011 07:24 am (UTC)
Time to make more memories, that you can be nostalgic about when you're 80.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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