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I'm Getting Old!!!!!!!
I know I’m getting old. Somehow, I’ve gone from the optimum 18-36 demographic to the one where I’m getting junk mail and spam from retirement investment firms and health insurance companies. How did this happen? I don’t know. I just went to work each day, raised a family and mowed the lawn on weekends. Somehow, I ended up here! I would not mind but I keep getting reminded of it on a daily basis. If only I could just go about my day and be totally oblivious to my situation. But alas, it’s impossible. Listed below are recent reminders and indicators that in the next few years I will be checking out retirement communities and Rascal Scooters:
1) My son graduated from college. My oldest (23), got a degree from the University of Massachusetts last May. I know, this is a good thing. I’m happy and proud but still it makes me feel old. I remember when he was an infant and I used to change his diapers for Pete’s sake!
2) My body is beginning to sabotage me. Don’t worry, I’m still quite healthy. But ever so subtlety my body is reminding me that I’m not a young man anymore. Over the past few years I’ve developed a gut. I can’t eat everything and expect not to gain weight. Also, I went through my forties with dark brown hair. Now I’m beginning to go grey in the temples and beard. But that’s nothing compared to the sore muscles and various aches and pains I get by just doing something as simple as yard work. I realized after a touch football game a few years ago with people half my age, that my athletic days are finished (not that I was ever much of an athlete, but at least I tried) It took me about a month to recover from that event.
3) AARP is trying to recruit me Every couple of months, I get an offer in the mail to join AARP. They tell me about the wonderful benefits I could get by giving them $15 and joining their organization. But this organization won’t be for me for a long time After all the name of the organization is the American Association for Retired Persons. According to my financial advisor, I won’t be retiring until I’m 87 or so.
Still the organization does have some good deals on insurance and other things. A few years ago my father and I were eating out. We had the exact same meal but his was $3.00 cheaper because he used his AARP Senior Citizens discount. Even though I could save money, I don’t think I’m ready to take advantage of anything that starts with Senior Citizen……
4) Popular Culture has passed me by,. A few weeks ago I watched Saturday Night Live. I had no idea who the guest host was and I had never heard of the musical guest. This type of thing happens a lot lately. When I was young, I was up on who was who in entertainment and music. It also upsets me when younger people don’t know anything about the icons of my youth. Recently, at work, a person in their early thirties had no idea who Jackson Browne was. Young sports fans will tell me how much they love Jacoby Ellsbury, Tom Brady or Milan Lucic, but they have no idea who Fred Lynn, Steve Grogan or Johnny Bucyk were. I would guess that this happens to every generation, but I still don’t like it happening to me.
5) I Thought I’d Be Living a Life of Leisure by Now When I was young, I was told that if I worked hard good things would happen. If I kept my nose to the grindstone I would have enough money to really enjoy myself when I got older. I imagined I would be going on lavish vacations, driving luxury cars, and buying vacation condos. Well, I hit a rough patch career wise within the last few years and none of that came to be. Still I thought I’d have more money than I do now and be a little further along in my career.
6) I Am a Master at Obsolete Technology. I could live and prosper in a world with analog clocks, dial phones, typewriters, vinyl records and broadcast TV. (although I am quite fond and attached to the internet, word processing and cable TV). Many younger people have never seen a dial telephone or a vinyl record and analog clocks can be confusing to such a person. What is 12:45 to them is quarter to one to me. I tend to come to new technology later than most. My wife and I just got an HD TV with a DVR last year. My kids laugh at me when I ask them to “tape” a TV show for me.
7) I Dress Like an Old Man At least that’s what my kids say when I’m around them. I like to hang around the house in sweatpants and jeans and in the summer, shorts and tee-shirts. But I have been told by them that my shorts are too short and my socks are too long. Well that’s what I wore in the 1980s so it should be ok now.
I realized that I have been wearing the same style of sneaker since I got my first pair of Thom Mcann Jox when I was 15 or so. The last time I went out to buy sneakers I was with my 14 year old. I found a pair on sale that I wanted to buy. My son was mortified. Apparently they were skateboarding shoes and they were way too cool for me. As it was they didn’t have my size on sale and I settled for my old style. (they did have a pair that fit me, but it was $85 and I wasn’t about to spend that much).
The clothes I wear to work aren’t bad. I look decent and I don’t mind buying them at discount stores. My oldest, (who just got his first real job) shops at designer stores and pays way more for his clothes than I do. He will learn soon enough that he can look just as good in TJ Maxx clothes as he does in his Banana Republic duds.
8) Henry Winkler tried to sell me a reverse mortgage. Well not me personally, I saw him advertising this product on a commercial on cable TV. I did not chuckle and change the channel. I stayed with it and listened to what he had to say, I actually considered calling the 1-800 number to get the booklet and the free DVD. Then it hit me: THE FONZ IS HAWKING REVERSE MORTGAGES. A PRODUCT YOU HAVE TO BE 62 TO GET! When I was 12, Fonzie was the epitome of what a cool teenager was suppose to be and now he is an old man! If Fonzie is old, I’m not far behind.
9) My Idea of a great evening involves my TV, recliner, laptop and beer. When I was young, I loved to go out on the weekends. Now I don’t like to be out after 8 or so. My son has gone out after I’ve gone to bed,
10) Time is going by fast. It seems that each year goes by faster and faster. And the years have added up. It seems like it was just yesterday it was the 1990s and my kids were small. I was talking to an older lady a few years ago about this and she said the older we get, The faster it seems to go. Great! That’s what I needed to hear!
It’s a cliché, but there is truth to the saying, “you are only as old as you feel”. Despite the preceding 10 items, I really don’t feel that old. When I go out to dinner, I don’t feel the need to do it at 4:00 pm to catch the early bird special (yet)!