Writing’s been a bit of a struggle of late.
Not the writing that pays the bills. Although, that’s been a slough too, to be honest. I read lots of cool newsletters and emails about writing newsletters and emails. They help. They add skills or ideas or just gumption.
You can do stuff with gumption.
I have a secret writing process I’ll never fully disclose. It involved random choices and brainstorming and generally thinking within rules I set for myself so that I can think outside the box. Well, it probably wouldn’t make much sense to describe anyway.
Mostly, it involves creating a conversation with you.
Yes, I mean you. So when I struggled to write this post, with thoughts of my dad, dying at age 49 – just two years older than I am now – I thought, I’ll just sit down and talk with you about it. I found a random title generator to give me a start, and here we are.
Five reasons you should fall in love with aging
1-YOU KNOW MORE STUFF
A senior with four years’ experience can go toe-to-toe with a talented young gun. A high school senior, that is, in soccer. In life, as we become more senior, well, experience amounts to something, too.
So too is the realization that we have much, much left to learn.
Maybe that’s part of the knowledge of having knowledge. That we don’t know everything. I’ve learned more in the past year than in the past 10. I don’t think my brain or spirit was ready for that 10 years ago.
2-YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH SOME STUFF – AND LIVED TO TELL
Losing a job.
Losing your temper. Losing your wallet (a few times.) Losing your grip. Losing your innocence. All those losses, unless you’ve lost your life, you have a day-after from. A day to react and reflect. To sink or swim, to learn from it or embroiled in bitterness.
Lessons from losses have taught me a whole helluva lot more than those when winning.
3-WORRYING LESS ABOUT HOW THINGS WILL TURN OUT
Maybe because you know more stuff, and have been through more stuff, you worry less about how stuff will work out. I’d say roughly the ratio of what happens to what might happen is 1:325,092,092,447. Roughly.
At my age, I worry less if I’ve made the right choice because I’ve followed my instincts to make my choices, from which Medium post to read to what toppings to order on my pizza – or I’ve simply left it up to fate, and I’m good with that.
“If not this, then this,” is a thing. I know if I don’t get this job, I’ll go for that one. If we lose this game, we’re in this place. And you go from there. There’s not much time to worry when you have a new set of challenges constantly filtering through.
Anyone want to buy three Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures – good condition, but with their weapons missing?
I didn’t think so. I’ve clung to Doug Decenzo baseball cards and busted up Star Wars figures long enough. I want space, not stuff. Or at least, I want the space the old stuff takes up so I can get new stuff.
So if you want my Samurai Donatello or random 1988 Donruss cards, you’ll have to hit the Goodwill on Albemarle Road.
5-YOU GET TO KEEP ALL THE OTHER AGES YOU’VE BEEN
I’m that 12-year-old boy wonder who wanted to bring back dinosaurs. I’m the high school freshman who won first chair baritone saxophonist. I’m the high school senior who won a $500 scholarship for a writing contest – sponsored by Doritos.
I’m also the unemployed guy and the kid in summer school for English (my teacher failed me because she didn’t believe I wrote my term paper) and I’m the guy who struggled as a husband, dad, writer, non-writer, Christian, citizen, and coach.
I’m all those dudes. I’m also a collection of his ideas, triumphs and success stories. I have many, like a set of Encyclopedias! That’s a lot. It helps me now as I meditate or parent or coach or write. And it helps that I know what a set of encyclopedias used to be like, too.
What’s your reason for falling in love with aging?