How Do We [Baby Boomers] Appear to Those Around Us?

jaymodel“Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.”
Oscar Wilde

When I was in my 20’s I knew exactly what I looked like to people around me.

I knew that i was relatively handsome, fit and young.

This was affirmed everywhere I went. I wasn’t deluded, unlike most people I know these days.

Then time passed – a lot of it, actually – and I no longer knew.

People started to see and interact with me differently…or not acknowledge me at all.


Some refer to this as invisibility, but I prefer other words that don’t provoke ego annihilation.

The weird thing about all this is that I still feel young. Or youngish.

My knees ache a little in the mornings, and my joints are tighter than at any time in memory.

But the truth is I don’t remember what 25 felt like, but I have to assume that no matter what it felt like was irrelevant in the scheme of things.

A childhood friend described a moment recently where he was strolling along the beach and a beautiful young woman passed him by without noticing him.

“I though she might at least glance over…”

“It wasn’t that long ago when we would both smile and maybe look back at one another, and everything would be exactly where it belonged.”

But there is no normal any more.

Getting older requires a constant re-acquaintance with oneself.

But this is easier said than done, particularly for people who spent their lives doing exactly what they wanted to do and remaining child-free.

And people wonder why big corporations want their employees married with children.

Child-Free and Deluded


As a 60-year-old man, I’m the first to admit that I’m neither comfortable with, nor accepting of, my age.

But I’m also not so out of touch with reality that I think I can do a damn thing about it.

This awareness, however, doesn’t make things any better.

I look in the mirror and i see someone who bears only a vague resemblance to the handsome young man who relied on his appearance and charm to open doors.

Now such cavalier behavior comes across as creepy and deluded.

This “old guy” just flirted with me!

Wow. That might have been me.

See, I feel trapped in a body that no longer feels like my own. I’m inside of it bouncing around, unhinged and spiraling.

Who is this person I’ve become?

My 84-year-old mother confessed to me the other day that she still feels like a kid, but knows it’s just life’s way of  doing what it does to maintain our instinct for survival.

As many of you who read my blog and know me personally are already aware, I live with a woman half my age.

In another reality, she might very well be my daughter. She is also child-free and rebellious like I was at her age.

Together, we live in a kind of cocoon of art, entertainment and fitness, the later of which being the primary outlet for our interaction with others.

Other men my age have children in the workforce with wives and children of their own. A few are married to the same women they met back in college.

This is normal.

The reason I bring this up is because the only way that men like me mature properly is to deny ourselves introspection through chaos [i.e., distraction].

But because there is no chaos in the form of “a boss,” “children,” an “age-relevant wife” and a culture group built on conformity, I’m like a wild animal that that digs deeper with every step, making my journey more conscious, more aware, and less resilient where acceptance is concerned.

The truth is most people don’t think about any of this to the point of distraction bordering on preoccupation.

They live vicariously through their children, and allow themselves to be swept up into the mindset of friends, wives, country clubs and common vacation destinations.

They throw up their hands, get into the hospital system, and disappear into enclaves populated by others of their kind until they fall ill and die.

This is also normal.

But guess what?

There are others of my kind who fight this every step of the way. Not that it gets us anywhere, but we do it anyway.

God did this to us.

He put us here to do a couple of things and then die.

But many of us refuse to die under any circumstances, so we’re forced to suffer through a kind of extended Purgatory of the mind.

There are books and drugs to calm the mind, both natural and otherwise, but in the end we’re stuck here in these distraction-free zones cannibalizing our innards.

Here are the only ways I know to fight back with a reasonable expectation of success:

1] Travel constantly, or at least every other weekend. While it is nerve-wracking, it usually doesn’t kill us, which makes us stronger, psychologically.

2] Go to the damn gym no matter how crappy you feel because after a workout, you will again find yourself full of enough endorphin high to get you through the next 12 hours. For extra endorphins, lift very heavy weight. There’s nothing like it to get your head back to ground level.

3] Laugh as much as possible. Even if you’re depressed, laughter is a sure-fire way of exorcising noonday demons without the help of a Catholic priest.

4] Retail therapy is an integral part of happiness as we age. Yesterday I bought some new Bose Noise Reduction headphones and it did me good all through last night.

5] Have passionate interests. I’m never bored because I love to play musical instruments, write, read, take photographs go to the gym and watch commercial-free television shows on my Macbook Pro. If you’re not passionate about anything, you’re toast. 

6] Spend time each day around normal people so you can appreciate just how wonderful abnormality really is…no matter how bad it can often seem. 

7] Spend a lot of time in water. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a shower, bathtub, ocean or swimming pool. There’s something about it that feels cathartic. Yesterday I took three showers, one whirlpool and 20 laps in the swimming pool.

8] Go back to your music collection and play something you really love as loud as possible for 10 minutes, preferably after a glass of wine or a joint if you happen to live in Colorado.

9] Find a massage therapist who actually performs massage, not trigger point. The idea is to feel good, and therefore, escape. this usually works for a good 24 hours.

10] Have erotic sex as often as possible no matter how much it may irritate your lower back. The absence of depression will more than make up for it and keep you feeling relevant and alive.

and last, but not least…

11] Nurture those closest to you. The rest are irrelevant at this point.

You’re welcome.

Final Comment

If you still wonder if or why people don’t see the same young man they saw when you were a young man, please reread this.


The Fitness Lifestyle is a Group Effort

fit-couple-after-50Getting – and staying – in shape is not something most of us do alone.

In fact, left to our own devices, we’d be dead by 40, either from a heart attack, a diabetic coma … or drug overdose.


Because we’re social beings that require back-up from others of our species.

Notice that women who are married to fat men tend to be fat themselves.

But when one or the other gets in shape, an affair ends the relationship.

When in-shape couples marry it is implicit in their vows that they remain as close as possible to the people they were the day they said “I do.”

See, “I do” denotes certain guidelines that don’t usually appear in the marriage contracts

They are as follows:

1] “I do” agree to stay in great shape as I know the reason my husband chose to be with me is, in large part, because of my appearance, and furthermore, the fatter I get the more he feels disrespected – and resentful. Thus, we both agree that neither of us will be disrespectful of the other. The only exceptions involve illness or pregnancy.

2] Everyone knows that the moment divorce papers are filed, both parties will be back in the gym in a heartbeat in order to attract the best candidate available. This alone speaks volumes. 

3] No matter what, women, in particular, are objects first, as they are well aware. They must maintain their appearance to within a stone’s throw of their original form or face the consequences, which also applies to men in some cases.

4] Fitness-minded people tend to spend the lion’s share of their time in the company of others like them. When they don’t, the results are, at the very least, suggestive. 

5] Never believe that love trumps fat. It doesn’t. In fact, excessive fat is the leading cause of divorce, not money – though it’s close.