Sunday, November 15, 2009

Only a Complete Genius or a Total Fool Could Ever Pull This Off. Lucky for Us, He's Both.

 39 on the outside, 18 or 19 on the inside. It's funny the way time works. I know, I've heard all the often wise, often cynical words about turning 40. The realization of it still dances around the edges of my understanding, as though I'm dead-set against grasping and acknowledging it. Man, growing up, 40 always seemed so... what's the word? Not "old", really... not to me, anyway. I guess I thought that at 40, you're wiser, more mature, more adult, more stable, less such a foolish, blissfully ignorant kid or some such.

Now that I'm here (just about), I have to admit, I pretty much feel the same way inside that I did twenty years ago. I interact with people half my age, and somehow on the inside still associate myself with them "way down there" in their late teens/early twenties, as though I'm not really that far removed from them - since that's kind of how I still feel inside. But I'm twice their age! I'm not a peer, I'm standing on the other side of the generation gap, waving hello. I'm not one of them anymore... I'm one of the older, the wiser, the more experienced, the teacher/helper, etc etc etc. When will I start to feel like it?

I'm certainly not trying to speak down to people in their late teens/early twenties. Heck, if that's you, enjoy it while it lasts. This is more a brief rant to admit (confess?) that I feel like a fake inside, in many ways. Like I should be something that I'm not yet. I have gray hairs on my head and in my beard. I've put on weight. I'm getting creaky. Yet I continue, in many ways, to act like I did when I was fresh out of high school. Maybe installing a mirror on the wall near my computer will remind me to act my age more often. I rarely look in the mirror, actually, even when brushing my teeth (apparently, I'm sort of a wild brusher... I get little flicks of toothpaste all over the mirror, which is annoying to clean, lol, so I turn my back to the mirror).

Gray beard! Look how long and scraggly it looks, eh? On a side note, this so reminds me of my daughter, lol. I don't know which of them takes more self portraits, it's like a competition. I've never seen or met anyone that takes more pictures of themselves than my two older daughters. Literally, if you go through my family photo archive, month by month, you'll usually see endless dozens of very similarly posed self-portraits of either Eldest or Middle Daughter. They do love to see themselves in photos. If you have either one of them as Facebook friends, you know what I mean - they rotate new smiling or brooding self-portraits almost daily. I don't love them any less for their narcissism, for sure, they're still my sweeties. I just don't understand it, that's all. Well, I suppose it's good that they have such great self images...

The book progresses well. Gonna write more when I wrap up here. Plans for tomorrow include a flier for the rug shop, watching Piranha Marketing training videos (again) to try to learn some new skills in my old age, and a trip to the post office to mail a payment to the feds for my '08 taxes.

Sorry to be whiny tonight... I decided to pull up this blog and just write whatever came to mind first. This has been on my mind today, for various reasons, so there it is. Missed youth. Didn't know it was leaving, didn't notice it was gone until it was... um, gone. My fear is that I'll spend so much time focusing on what I don't have anymore that I'll miss what I'm supposed to be doing now. I'd hate to turn sixty and long for the days when I was only just starting my forties... Or turn eighty and long for the heady days of my youth, when I was only 60...

Meh, nothing new under the sun, I know. This is a whine as old as time. It's just supposed to be something everyone else whines about... it's a cold thing to experience first hand. I get bummed about it and all I want to do is eat and play games...

Well, until tomorrow, remember, no eating puzzles in the house... and surely we don't jump on the beds!


Paula Titus said...

Great post. I so empathize. I suppose it's a good thing when we have to remind ourselves of our age, rather than actually feeling our age - whatever 40 is supposed to feel like. Luckily, I have a teenage daughter who never fails to remind me when I forget. ;)

Anonymous said...

You must have been a stellar 20 year old. I was such a moron I would have to have been brain-damaged not to have have become wiser and less foolish as time went by. Imagine the possibilities for you!

logankstewart said...

Y'know, Dave, I'm 23 but I don't have any problems relating to folks twice or half my age. Really as long as you feel like you can relate to folks, age does not matter. You can't be bosom buddies with an infant and you can't be best friends with an invalid octogenarian, but the in-betweens are okay. Age itself has nothing to do with friendships. (Well, okay, a little, but not that much.) There are generation gaps and things we don't understand about older/younger generations, but the differences don't matter in the long run.

Of course, maybe when I'm twenty years older I'll think differently, but for now I offer only what I can. Take care. Long live the beard!

(Oh, and thanks for the lockpicking observation. I never really paid much attention to the rising speeds of the tumblers. Now, I'm much more effective at my lockpicking.)

Krista said...

I'm 23 too and I like to "think" I've gotten a little smarter from my teen years, but I still have a ways to go before I'm "wise" I guess! ;)

Since I'm still kinda young I'm not really sure I can give you any advice or "wise" words besides the fact that My Daddy, 45, is a big kid too and I don't think he regrets it all....In fact, my brothers and I are his best friends... :)

And hey, taking pictures of one self is a girl thing, I think :) We like to feel and look! :)

All the best, Dave! As they say, don't grow up too fast!! ;)

Jyeezy said...

I actually think Im dumber now than I was when I was 18. My mind feels slower, not as quick on my feet as I used to be, I read slower AND I forget tons of stuff. It is awesome! I think it might be from smelling gas for an hour plus a day while I use the golf picker for work lol.

I turned on my DSi for the first time in I dunno how long and Middle daughter had taken several pictures of herself and set one as my background. I loved it.

Joseph said...

My wife is petrified of turning 25. I think it's silly and I'm not looking forward to that for every one of her birthdays. As long as you enjoy yourself along the way and God is number one in your life. I think you are too hard on yourself.

I know one young man who was pulled into Sunday school and eventually church by your funny stories and goofiness.

Avari said...

Dave! Staying young inside like that is how you stay young forever! and how you stay awesome. Because that's what makes old people old and no fun, is that they aren't a kid inside anymore.

AYE, I feel the same way, I don't want to turn 20! haha I want to be 19 forever! I guess we humans will always find a way to feel like that. So what can ya do but embrace today? Then at least ya didn't waste it.

Just be optimistic and pick out the advantages of whatever age you are and enjoy them before they are gone. Because even getting older has advantages.

havah said...

OMG, Dave...we've been sharing a brain this weekend! I was going through some old university photos for a friend on the weekend, and ended up looking at my life now, and going into a tailspin. Heck...maybe I should blog about it too. Anyway... I've made many more, and many more serious, mistakes in my so-called "adult" years than in my youth. I liked myself more back then too. Ah, well...guess I'll just have to do what I can with what's left, huh?

Great post. Very real. I like that.

The photo-obsession, by the way, has a lot to do with internet social networking and digital abilities. We, at the same age, did not do that with regular cameras. Heck, I've taken more cruddy self-portraits in the last few years than in all my years before. Can't imagine why though. Hmm. Must be a fad.

Great going on the book!