I’m Not Getting Old, I’m Getting Better

We all hear people say that getting old sucks.  Most of us joke about it, too…every time we get a new ache or pain.  I’m less than five months out from being forty-two and have had a balding/thinning spot on the top, back of my head, some white hairs sneaking in (and lots of them in my mustache and goatee), some hearing loss, a slightly longer time to recover from an injury, and a lot less patience with fidiots and the “gimme, gimme” folks, but while my amount of time on planet Earth continues to climb, I refuse to say I’m getting old:  I am getting better!

Seriously, I can honestly say that I feel I’m in the best shape of my life.  I play soccer roughly three days a week for about an hour during lunch.  I try to get to the gym the two other days and usually fail to get much cardio exercise in on the weekends, but thanks to a friend from high school who has a personal training business (NOBULLFIT) in California and Facebook, I joined his push-up challenge a couple years ago and can easily do more push-ups now than I ever could while in the Army.  Over the last year and a half or so, I’ve lost about fifteen pounds and could probably stand to whittle another ten to fifteen off, but I’m not in a big hurry, I’ll get there without really “dieting.”  I just exercise and try not to gorge myself often…like I did last night at Pizza Hut (if you missed my post from yesterday).  When I get whacked hard on the pitch, it does take longer for the injury to heal, but that’s why I play smarter instead of harder…something else I’ve learned over the years.  I have better endurance on the pitch and am probably as fast or faster than when I was playing soccer in high school or in the adult league five to ten years ago.  To compare, it’s pretty easy to put the tally mark on the “me now” side vs. the “me then” side.

I’ve been married to my wife for just shy of thirteen and a half years now and while we still have disagreements about things, we don’t generally have “fights” anymore.  We never had physical altercations, but we have had some rather heated arguments in the past.  We’ve both grown in this marriage.  It’s great to really know your partner, to know what just a simple touch means, to know when they need a strong embrace, and to know when they need to be left alone.  Sure, I still screw it up sometimes, but less frequently than early on and when I do, it doesn’t take as long to recognize and fix the mistake.  During our marriage, we’ve seen a number of our friends and family struggle in theirs and, too often, end up in divorce.  The future is never set in stone, but I think we’re in this “till death do us part” and if you believe in the afterlife, we’re in it for eternity.  After thirteen years, I’m still passionately in love with my wife and I tell her I love her every day, even when she’s mad at me.  See, I’m smarter than I used to be…chalk another one up for the “me now” side.

We’re also just a couple months away from being parents for eleven years.  There have been a few bumps in the roads so far, but mostly parenting has been fairly easy up to this point.  Of course, we’re just now starting to hit the “tween” years, so this is really where it’s supposed to start getting interesting, right?  According to friends of mine who have older kids, especially daughters, interesting isn’t a strong enough word.  Our plan, if you can call it a plan, is to make sure they know we love them, that we care about them, that we’re always here if they want/need to talk to us, and that regardless of how mad they may get at us, that our decisions will always be based on what we think to be best for them.  Notice, that last bit said what we think to be best for them…not what we feel.  Emotions run high during our teenage years, I haven’t forgotten mine, but we can’t give in to all our impulses, and that goes for us as parents, as well.  Knee-jerk reactions to punish aren’t always going to be the best way to get us or the child through a situation.  I expect to screw some things up, but I expect to get some things right, too.  Aside from not losing my temper with my kids as much as I have in the past, I can’t really put a tally mark on either side, but I hope that the “me (eight to ten years from) now” will get the tally mark for having screwed up less than I expect, maybe not at all.  [crossing my fingers]

I have less stress.  I’ve learned to not let things that don’t have a bearing on my life bother me.  I roll with the punches.  I (generally) leave my work, and any problems I have there, at the office.  If I don’t like someone, I don’t hang around them.  I don’t take things personally and I exercise to relieve tension from what stress I do have in my life.

I have grown and am still growing more comfortable in my own skin.  I can identify my short-comings and then work to improve them or accept that they aren’t able to be improved.  I work to further increase the skills at which I do excel.  I have no problem admitting to liking musicians or movies or games or whatever that I would have been embarrassed to let people know about when I was younger.

I’m also getting better at being more outgoing.  I’m still an introvert and I don’t think that’ll ever change.  As such, it doesn’t come naturally, but I force myself (sometimes) to initiate conversations with people I don’t know.

I’d say the “me nows” outnumber the “me thens.”  They should.  I’ve made a commitment to me, for me and my family, to get better.  It’s mindset.  Hopefully, if you take a good look at yourself, you’ll find yourself in the same boat.  If not, see how you can turn it around.

Now I’ve got to cut this off and figure out what we’re eating because I need level up our characters for tonight’s session of D&D.  Yes, I still play Dungeons & Dragons…the paper and pencil and dice version.  See, the “me then” would never have admitted that.

Don’t get old, Get Better!


One Response

  1. I try to think the same way; age is only a number to me. I do what I have to do – when it comes to exercise and diet – so I can be a kid my whole life:)) Great post and I look forward to sharing more with you:))

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