So, its been some time since you and I last talked. But please know…its not you, its me! Its not your fault. Life continues to be busy and the older I get the faster the day’s events wear me down. But hell, I am only 51, a mere pup…still full of much piss and vinegar. However, these days, the idea of an afternoon nap really appeals to me.
I recently went to a concert at a downtown club with a few friends. It was a band that I was somewhat familiar with but wanted to really experience the camaraderie of my friends more than going to see the band. The show was good, the band played well. The venue was hot, the beer was flowing like wine!! However, they didn’t get on stage until close to 11pm. Under normal circumstances (everyday of my life), at that hour, I am turning off the lights and making my way up to bed for the night. I held out until 1am and told my friends that I had had enough. I took a taxi home and was in bed by 1:45…normally the hour of the evening when I make one of my scheduled visits to the bathroom.
I have often commented to my wife that when I go out for dinner with some of these guys (not these particular guys…other guys…covering my ass!), I am struck at how old they seem. Its not a physical thing…but more related to what they talk about. These are men that were crazy, zany and goofy when I knew them back in high school. Now all they seem to do is talk about retirement planning, home renovations, their kids (I am guilty of this), current events and their work. I have to admit, I sometimes find it kind of boring.
At home, when I am with my wife and two daughters, I like to be goofy. I say silly things, act silly, talk about anything other than work, hell I even like to swear! It makes me feel young and un-boring; it makes me feel like a teenager again.
I hate having to try to be something other than what I really am when I am at work. While I don’t burp and fart when I am at the office, I aim to be a slightly more refined version of what I am like with close friends and family. I want to be my authentic self (can you tell I used to go for therapy?)
The scariest part about me being the age I am and being very aware of this, is that I sometimes find myself acting angry and cranky. It could be because of a bad day at work, a horrible commute home, finances, a messy house, unclean kitchen or my kids not doing what is expected of them. When these things happen, I become gross – foul, not funny and not nice to be around. It really upsets me that I get into these funks because I believe that when you reach a certain stage in your life, you really do need to chill and enjoy things and embrace each day because in all likelihood, there are fewer days ahead of you then behind you.
No, I am not trying to be morbid or make you feel uncomfortable forcing you to stop reading what I am writing…but maybe this is subconsciously what I am beginning to think more and more about. I always joke with my wife that I enjoy watching things on television that are either funny or exciting and that have absolutely nothing to do with mortality, sickness or other everyday stressors. Life is already too full of these kinds of things. I really don’t need to be reminded of them, thank you very much!
I am hyper-aware of the possibility that I might become an angry old man. I don’t mind the old part, but I really don’t want to be angry. The thought of it frightens me and I bet it would frighten my wife and kids as well – after all, who wants to be around a crusty old angry guy?
Sorry for being all over the place with my thoughts. It could be because my writing chops are a bit rusty and need to be refined or because my head is swirling with all of these random thoughts and I need to purge them or get them out in whatever way they come. I have a feeling though, that many people my age are kind of thinking the same thing as me.
While my high school years were not my best years (who had great high school years anyway?), they were the years in my life when things didn’t get to me and I had very little to worry about. I had my whole life ahead of me, I was young and immature, I didn’t wake up several times a night, to empty my bladder, going out at 10pm at night was easy, coming home at 3am was easier, I could eat whatever I wanted and behave like a teenager. I didn’t live my teenage years to the extent that I should have and maybe my yearning for the way things were when I was that age is my admission that I didn’t have enough of a dose of being a teenager – that I wanted more time to be one and maybe that is what I am feeling now. To be in a time and place where optimism abounds, health is almost guaranteed, no issues when you wake up with aches and pains (unless it was from the 12 minute run) and that feeling of freedom that allows you to feel like you can do anything. To be in a time and place where it was all about movies, music, culture, girls, driving my car (actually, it was my mother’s car), drinking (while NOT driving my mom’s car) – fun and frolic – and not really having a care in the world.
Is this why I am fearful of becoming an angry man…or is it because I am longing for the past and feel angry about it.
I think I just answered my question. Do you feel the same?
P.S. Mom and Dad, don’t worry. I am fine.