It’s Tough Getting Old
“Bleep, bleep, bleep” Almost on reflex you reach over and smack the alarm clock hoping that this time it will be the death blow that will put it out of its misery. Every morning it is the same thing; a perfectly good dream is interrupted by that alarm clock. You think to yourself, “one of these days I am not going to have to listen to that thing. One of these days I am going to have a day all to myself without anyone telling me what to do.” It’s funny; you’ve been saying that since you were a teenager. Back then the alarm clock was beckoning you to get up and get ready for school. Ah, those were the days. As if on cue the alarm is silenced and instead music begins emanating from the speaker. You lay there being serenaded by Gloria Gaynor as she sings, “I Will Survive”. That somehow seems appropriate this morning and you wonder if that song was meant for you or for the alarm clock that you nearly destroyed again. Maybe today won’t be so bad after all. Even before you could complete that thought the disc jockey ruined the moment when he said, “well there’s an oldie goldie we haven’t heard in a few decades.” Great that is just what you need; another ‘punk kid’ reminding you that you’re not getting any younger.
As you slowly get out of bed you realize that “slowly” is becoming your favorite adverb that you use to describe yourself. It’s funny, you never think of yourself as growing old. Inside it feels like you’re a teenager with your whole life still before you. But as you shuffle into the bathroom and look into the mirror, that is not the image of a 17 or 18 year old kid looking back at you. No that is a reflection of the person who stole your youth and left you with a middle-aged costume that you have to wear every day like some sort of class hazing. Yup, that person definitely ripped you off and no one except you even seems to care. At first you think it is just a bad dream but the bruises on your arm where you keep pinching yourself to wake up are very real. You gaze at your reflection and draw strength from the fact that you’ve earned every one of those middle-aged features. Today you have challenged yourself to overcome the doom and gloom. Today you take back your youth and kick middle-age to the curb.
The question is, how do you do that? If you’re not careful this could be another one of those ill-advised self-search journeys that ends up with you doing something crazy and having to explain it to other people. No this had to be a little bit more subtle than going out and buying a motorcycle with thoughts of touring the country like a renegade biker or making reservations to go scuba diving with hammerhead sharks. Change in this sense needs to be a little more gradual. After all, you’re still using that “slowly” adverb and that doesn’t change overnight. What you need is a plan, one you can work on every day that will erase the regrets you may have accumulated through life’s journey and replace them with priceless memories that you bring out and share with everyone around you. Today is that day; now is that time. You just need to seize the moment before it is gone.