My belly button and I celebrated another birthday recently. I think the rest of my body got older also… Don’t worry, everything still works. In fact, things may even be improving somewhat… at least in some respects. Life is pretty darn good. However, since I’ve been an official member of the AARP for awhile now, I’d like to share a few observations I’ve made about this “getting older” business:
Some down sides:
1) The hair in my ears, nose, and eyebrows grows better than the hair on my head. I figure if I lose too much more of my mop, I’ll just let all the other stuff grow out and comb it over. Anyone for styled eyebrows??
Q) My body stores fat more readily than ever before. I’m beginning to believe that all I really have to do is LOOK at food and I will gain ten pounds. Unless, of course, I’m looking at celery or carrots; they don’t fatten me. But it seems to take 430 days of drinking 34 glasses of water a day and eating nothing but bunny food to effect the loss of 1/2 pound or so. Unless I exercise. If I run 27 miles before I have breakfast, I might be able to lose another 0.001 pound.
9) I am older than many of the people I see at work! This has never happened to me before. They don’t seem to mind, though. Folks just humor me when I reminisce about when the Beatles came over on the Mayflower and stuff like that. “Remember the race riots in ’67? Oh, you weren’t born yet? Ok, you, shut up and go away. Wait… you gonna eat that Twinkie??”
F) The “good old days” consisted of obsolete technology. I’m not talking IBM 8088 computers or “new” calculators that would actually do a square root and only cost $60; either. I’m talking Univac, a huge computer built with vacuum tubes, and watching my favorite TV programs in glorious Black and White, because that’s all there was. Radios and TV sets all had tubes in them, and you had to wait 30 seconds for them to warm up before getting anything. Oh, and not to forget record players. Man, I’m getting ancient here!
But believe it or don’t, there really are some positive things about this aging business:
A) I don’t have the emotional roller coaster I used to ride around on all the time. Man, growing up was the pits!! Well, OK, not all the time. There was quite a bit of fun along the way. However, don’t know about you folks, but this boy sure spent way too much time weeping and gnashing his teeth. These days, I try to be grateful and count my blessings instead of whining and numbering all my troubles. Works most of the time. And I have more patience than I’ve ever had…
Take driving, for example. Used to be a daily thing for me to get totally ticked off at idiot drivers. Someone would cut me off, right? So I’d get an adrenaline rush, and catch up to them to yell something like this: “Hey Chicken Lips! Examine my angry red face while I display one of my more memorable fingers to your eye things! You have no brain! I question your ancestral heritage! I believe you are a bark eater!” All the while, my skin would be crawling with adrenaline goose bumps, and that funny taste would linger in the back of my mouth. I didn’t really like the feeling, but it took quite awhile for me to put it all into perspective. Nowadays, if a stinky-face driving person does me some dirt, I mutter something like, “oh thank you, Flavorhead. See you in the obituaries.” They never get to see me lose my temper, and with any luck, I never see them again, anyway. This is probably a good thing, because you just never know who might have a bazooka or something lying next to them on the driver’s seat.
12) My wife and I still chase each other, and it’s better than ever! Except for that one time she wanted to invite that camel over for pizza and fake wine (maybe that was a dream).
C5) I make more money than I ever have before. Well, ok, I spend more money than I ever have before, too. In fact thanks to Visa Money Bucket Plastic Land, I can spend money I don’t have. But what the heck, my Mom and Dad didn’t leave me anything, so the least I can do is return the favor for my kids.
Perhaps the biggest bonus I’ve acquired along the path of this journey we call life is peace of mind. I’ve learned (albeit sometimes the hard way) to use a few coping skills that have helped me mellow out quite a bit. Like my reaction to change, for example. I’m not really fond of Dennis Miller’s brand of humor, but he said a pretty neat thing awhile ago: “Life is like riding the bus. It requires change.” Lots of stuff changing at work. At home too. And in the news?? Forget about it awreddy!! Stuff that used to make my brain explode now simply seems like an annoying little fly to be swatted out of my face. What’s that expression…? Don’t sweat the petty things. Or is that don’t pet the sweaty things?? You know, those two rules for stress management: 1) don’t sweat the small stuff, and 2) everything is small stuff.
It reminds me of a poem… maybe because I made it up:
by Me, the Person
The stress tried to kill me, but right now it’s gone.
I mowed all the garbage and dumped out the lawn.
Drove backwards to work, it’s a new way to say,
“Hey all of you ninnies, get out of my way!”
When stress is a color, it’s probably red.
It burns up my innards and blushes my head.
It’s much better just to chill out, you see,
So there’s not too much STRESS and too little of ME.
Ya shoor, in my head there arose such a clatter,
From stressing about things that really don’t matter.
But these days I’m much better, if you don’t mind my saying.
More fun I am having, more games I am playing.
Well, I’m hoping to take stuff less seriously now.
I’ve been here before, so I think I know how.
I’ll try to stay happy and whistle while working.
More “Happy Joy Joy,” and less “You are a Jerk”-ing.
Well, this is me leaving now. Hope all of you had a nice time on my belly button’s birthday. And as I’ve often said, please remember that it’s better to be you than for you to be me, and that although you can count to 8, “eight” is a word.
Hoping to retire in a couple years. Maybe I’ll take a part time gig with The Old Man Of The Mountain…