Or as young as you believe. Or age ain’t nothin’ but a number. Or something.
So I was thinking about the fact that another year has nearly gone and, of course, that means another birthday is approaching and with that comes pondering about whether I’m living to my fullest potential and OMG why haven’t I found a cure for every damn disease on this planet or housed all the homeless people and animals and fixed the economy and put a stop to all these heinous wars and developed space travel and started that freaking rock band I dreamed about in high school?
And then an acquaintance told me that there was an event coming up that would attract a lot of lesbians and I should go. Why? I asked. Because you should be more social, she said. Get out more.
I thought about that for a bit. I used to go out to events and clubs quite a bit. Lost my taste for it after I hit 30 and got more interested in different kinds of events and different kinds of connections. Maybe a little quieter sometimes, but definitely richer, seems to me. So I told her that I might go. Or I might not. She–who is a good 10 years younger than I am–asked why I might not. Teasingly, I said, because I’m old and tired, girlfriend, and plain worn out by Friday evening. She found this amusing and preferred to believe that the reason I don’t go out is because I’m some kind of recluse. Which amuses ME to no end.
But there’s some truth to my teasing. I put in 14- or 15-hour days all week because I work a day job and then go home and write. I ain’t no damn spring chicken, and I can honestly say I’m way busier now than I was even in my 20s when I was rockin’ grad school. So I think it’s legit that I’m way tired by Friday evening and yeah, some of that might have to do with age. Your body will start complaining a bit once you pass a certain age. Younger readers, I’m sorry. That’s how it goes. So start taking care of what you’ve got now, if you want it to last.
One of the things that’s disconcerting as I age is that I sure as hell don’t “think” my age. That is, I’m basically still 30 in many ways. 18 in others. 12 in even others. Sometimes even 5, especially when I see stuff like people flying kites. So it’s weird to look in the mirror and see the signs of my chronological age staring back at me. The crow’s feet at the corners of my eyes. The fine lines above my mouth. The streaks of gray in my hair. WTF, I think. When the hell did THAT happen? I haven’t started my band yet! I haven’t saved the world yet! I’m not a space bandit yet!
And then I remember a couple of things. One, I still dress like a 25-year-old guy and two, the Google ad profile/info-gathering thinks I’m a a dude, 18-25.
Both of these things remind me that I have not changed in some ways, that I still “think young,” though it’s tempered by the wisdom I’ve acquired during this journey that helps me know my capabilities and state my truths. I’ve decided I like that combination. I like thinking young AND the years of wisdom. And I’ll probably dress like a 25-year-old guy for the next 50 years. Here’s hoping.
As for the physical stuff…well, I kind of like how my gray is coming in. And I’m still able to work out and hike and ride my mountain bike. And dance around my house in my all-too-often one-woman house parties. Ultimately, not sure I’m aging gracefully, but I sure hope it’s gradually. That whole space bandit thing, you know…
So think young, my friends, and go right on with your bad selves!
Song of the day: The 1975, “Chocolate