12/20/12

The Best Part About Getting Older . . .

I don't know exactly when it happened that I stopped being a "young" man in terms of how the world or treated perceived me. I would assume, much like our collective awareness that Gwyneth Paltrow simply can NOT act, it happened over time. It was another year of aging for me, View From the Top for her. etc. I'm not one of those neurotic people (and, to clarify, it is NOT my birthday nor are we anywhere near it (put the cake, candles, and noise makers down) that obsesses over these things. Hell - I'm not even BOTHERED to be perceived as old. In a weird way, I'm thrilled. 

I think I have always been "old" in my old head. I have always dressed like an old man. I've never really enjoyed the trappings of the young and spirited (fads, trends, catchy music, the ability to identify each of the Kardashian sisters, etc.). I've never really wanted to rage against the aging process. I'm too lazy and disinterested to even worry about my grey beard and balding head. I spend more time looking at life insurance, IRA options, 529 accounts, and the clearance section at Jos A. Bank than I do online porn (but let's be clear - I spend a lotta' time looking at porn too. Divorce is rough, yo!).

I would hold back one thing . . . I'm living proof that aging and maturity are not the same thing. I just made back to back porn jokes. NO ONE is confusing me for a real ADULT at this point. But I do have things that make me adult like. I've graduated from college and earned my master's degree. I fell in love. I courted a woman and got married. I became a father. I bought and sold a few homes. I have built a career I am proud of. I'm an uncle. I'm separated. I'm getting divorced. I have a hair line SPRINTING away from my eyebrows. My beard is way more salt than pepper. I read for fun, again. I can't even tell you who is on the Top 40 charts. I don't even care what TV shows people are talking about. I plan on seeing Les Miserables. ON CHRISTMAS. I'm old. I'm boring. My kid seems fine with that. My parents seem to appreciate it. The friends that tolerate me seem to be comfortable in my life status. 

But the key takeaway here is that the rest of the world is finally seeing me the way I've always seen myself. Old. Grumpy. Grizzled. Wise (hence the photo of sage - above and to the left - bonus points if you got that on your own). I'm glad you all caught up. I'm glad you joined me on this plain of awareness. 

Because that is the BEST part about getting older. You are finally in a position where people can come to you. You're not chasing the love, affections, acceptance, and support of a majority of the world. Every day age, get older, move ahead, advance - that is one less day you have to earn. Lessons learned and filed away. Mistakes made, remedied (in theory) and the lessons/morals processed. You have one more day behind you. One more thing seen. One more thing done. That's one less thing in front of you. That's one less chance to misstep, err, or get distracted. You get what my meanings are. 

The BEST part about getting older is that you're no longer young. You're established. You're able to guide those who are following you - and THEY are the ones with risks, errors, missteps, distractions, trendy distractions, etc. that you can help them through. THEY are the ones you can prevent from wasting all that time on bad porn.