RUN.

 

Sometimes life gets under my skin, and I want to run from everything.

I visualize someplace remote, devoid of human life. Just me and the animals, the water, the rocks and endless natural vistas, like sliding into a movie I created for myself to live in forever.

This mindset is not uncommon, and it isn’t insanity, though it can feel a lot like it when your skin starts to crawl off your bones.

It happens when I get burned out.

People at “wellness” clinics diagnose this as low-T  [with or without a blood test] and prescribe 1 CC of testosterone with HGH and 2 or 3 other cocktail items to balance out the side effects while keeping my mood in line with the way it was at age 17.

I could go down this road with you, but you already know the punchline.

The point here is that as I get older, I experience depression directly tied to aging.

Some say it isn’t depression at all, but rather, sadness that life is flying by so quickly just when I’ve reached a point in life where I can afford to do whatever the hell I want, within reason.

But also sadness because I have more time to reflect back on my life, which most know isn’t a particularly healthy thing to do when it turns into a kind of comparison.

I was 21 with the world in front of me. Now I’m 62 with the best of it – at least physically – behind me.

In other words, my script’s already been written.

It’s at this stage in life that we men have to figure out how to balance the realities of where we are, and then come to a place of acceptance and peace.

This is easier said than done because it requires self-actualization, which is kind of like studying an actuarial table.

Think of it as a complex equation where all the data points are separated from one another and placed under a microscope.

If you’ve never done this, I’d advise you find a padded room for your first go round.

Then you can move on to wide open spaces, which is where I am now.

RUNNING.

“Social Injustice:” Another Take on Older Men, Younger Women

If you look at life from the perspective of a food chain, you understand that people get what they need no matter what it takes or what it ends up looking like. We all do. Both genders. Even those that consider themselves to be somewhere in between.

I bring this up because I’m frequently stereotyped as an affluent older man “in possession of” a younger woman.

To wit, the other day I was at the gym and a woman my age referred to my domestic arrangement as characteristic of social injustice. What she meant by this was that I should be with someone my own age, rather than hijacking a younger woman’s youth and beauty for my own insecurities about aging and/or unrequited narcissistic delusion.

See the thing is, most people are passive-aggressive. What comes out of their mouths is usually couched as a general statement, but in fact refers to them directly.

More specifically, the aforementioned woman should have simply said, ” I think you should be with someone your own age, like me and leave the young women to their peers.”

This would have gotten my attention.

Instead, I just saw her for what she was, which wasn’t much in the general scheme of things.

Reality Robustus […or, a germ stole my thunder]

Since my last post [forever ago in the context of instant and immediate everything], I have been immersed in a new book project that’s drawn most of my available energy, which was already in short supply after coming down with the flu this past December. My particular strain has its own designation, H3N2. Some on the Internet tell me it’s an interstellar bug that escaped government protection, while others claim the government manufactured it to use on millennials. Either way, the shit got loose and found a home in a Baby-Boomer.

The lingering effects are legion: Fatigue, weakness, low appetite, cough, airway irritation that affects how long you can be active, loss of sense of smell [which in rare cases becomes permanent], and, in my case, you can tack on paranoia, depression, nightmares and mild dissociative states…among others.

Anyway, once the worst of it had passed, my idea was to take things slowly, not try to rush back to the gym until my stamina was rebuilt. At this writing, however, I’m still waiting.

When I was 23 the flu was an abstraction. I got sick, hung out at home, healed in three days, and met friends out for celebratory drinks. I won. There were no extenuating circumstances, no complications, nothing I gave much consideration to because none of it was particularly relevant. Nobody died back then, at least not until they were too old to live, which was fine since we all agreed that growing that old was like experiencing death in slow motion.

Now I see the extenuating circumstances, the potential for complications, and the shorter life expectancy in real time.

Having run down all of this down with you, I’m not dying. I didn’t contract cancer or have a stroke or brain aneurism or spinal injury. I got the flu and developed psychiatric problems from extended exposure to Webmd.com.

The point in all of this is that at this stage of life you’re in a steady state of low-level paranoia, coupled with reflection and denial. Put another way, what’s reflected is usually denied. So you have to come to a place of acceptance, which requires decades of therapy.

You’re no longer physically beautiful, unless of course, you’re Robert Plant, which you’re not. And death is closer than ever, virus or no virus. Your sense of relevance is constantly under siege no matter what you did to become the person you are which, like I said, is closer to death. For many of you this is the end of mental health, especially you guys on the precipice of 50 squeezing out that last hurrah before staring down the barrel of aesthetic annihilation. One steroid shot after the next, week after week, in tandem with the endless runs, swims, bike rides and weight training sessions that collectively earn one that bronzed wrap, star white teeth and endless string of broken marriages, all in favor of the drug of self. Your time is around the corner. Buckle up.

So here I am, starting the New Year with a bang. In truth, I have nothing to bitch about that doesn’t embarrass me. I have financial security, a family of animals…and a wonderful, loving and reasonably sane woman half my age that puts up with me. What’s not to love?

In this spirit, my blog posts begin anew for 2018.

MORALS OF THE STORY

1] Money does, in fact, buy happiness as long as you’re physically healthy, which money enables you to maintain.

2] Psychiatry is a noble profession.

3] Looks fade, but not heart. In this sense, relevance is eternal.

What Do Successful Men Over 60 Really, Really Want in a Mate?

Pretty much everything.

There is a certain aesthetic to which women who date – or aspire to date – successful men adhere. It is very specific.

Adjectives used to describe the look are as follows: “Long, lean, timeless and elegant.”

Think Else Hose:

In order to achieve this look you must first be structurally proportionate and blessed with high cheek bones and solid jawline.

Then you have to diet, which looks a lot like that of Jennifer Lopez when she’s touring.

So 1350 total calories per day. All organic, non-GMO, gluten-free blah blah blah, plus exercise.

So, #1 is appearance.

If you want a rich man, you have to put in the work.

Think of it as a job interview [because it is a job interview] where your new prospective employer has a list of line items you have to meet in order to get a new Mercedes.

#2 is proper grammar.

If you haven’t mastered the Queens English, you have no business at galas and cocktail functions. In bed, you can go back to the streets.

#3 is attire.

You should already know the name of every clothing designer on the planet because he’ll expect you to dress the part after you’ve burned up his credit cards.

#4 Sexual fluidity with a certain uncontrollable darkness, or dark side as it’s often referred.

What this means is that there has to be something about you that he cannot completely conquer, which keeps him off guard and curious.

#5 is interests, as in, you have to have some beyond him or he will assume you have less value than he thought you did after he checked off the last 4 items. 

Successful men want reflections of themselves in the women in their lives, so imagine yourself a successful, powerful man in thigh-highs and you’re on the right track.

When you Hit Your 60’s, You Have to be Tough, Tough, Tough, Tough, Tough, Tough, Tough…

Researchers at University College London found a direct link between major health problems like heart disease, strokes and diabetes, and the amount of exercise done.

Those who regularly undertook moderate or vigorous physical activity at least once a week were much more likely to be “healthy agers” than those who remained inactive.

People who became physically active during the eight-year monitoring period were three times more likely to be healthy agers than those who remained inactive.

And those who engaged in regular physical activity for the whole eight years were seven times more likely to be healthy than those who did no exercise.

The authors wrote: “Sustained physical activity was prospectively associated with improved healthy ageing – absence of disease, freedom from disability, high cognitive and physical functioning, good mental health.

“Significant health benefits were even seen among participants who became physically active relatively late in life.

“The results support public health initiatives designed to engage older adults in physical activity.”

………………

This week in the gym was a tough one for me.

I officially entered my 60’s last week and I didn’t take it well.

We stayed home, cooked, huddled together with the dogs and cats and waited for the 24 hour period to pass.

This was not the me I used to know.

That person would raise a middle finger to the wind and pull a gym PR.

This time it was different.

I felt depressed, vulnerable and perilously introspective.

Some call it rumination, a synonym for clinical depression in my book.

Instead of getting over it, I tried to walk through it.

The first day in the gym I suffered a nose bleed in the middle of my dead-lifts.

That blew my day because the bleeding wouldn’t stop.

The next day in the gym I suffered a a bout of hypoglycemia, which made me nauseous, forcing me to leave the gym to eat.

Then I started feeling these out of body experiences, coupled with extreme fatigue.

Yep, I was officially old and falling apart.

Life had it talons in me and I was completely and utterly fucked.

So I called my therapist who then told me that what I was experiencing was a late stage midlife crisis.

I’m beyond midlife by 15 years.

I think of it now as a late 3rd quarter reckoning.

I needed more facts to get through this, but I needed more hardcore facts to get through this so I called my Internist.

Blood work good. Arteries clear.

So what the hell was it?

I booked a 90 minute massage, talked to my girlfriend [who assumed I was losing my mind], then finally had a heart-to-heart with myself.

My nosebleed was caused by a strong anti-inflammatory that I happened to take the morning of a tough workout. Not advisable according to my physician it thins the blood, which can lead to nosebleeds under the pressure of heavy weights.

Note to self: If you want to take this drug, do so after a workout when blood pressure isn’t through the roof [with 450 pounds or more in my hands].

Done. No more nosebleeds.

Blood glucose levels fall when people like me don’t eat enough.

Was I not eating enough?

Not even close.

Subconsciously I have been cutting calories because I prefer to be extremely lean.

But it’s impossible to achieve the look I would like without the help of anabolic steroids, which I don’t take.

So I started concentrating on eating more, eating better, fueling my body in a very conscious and proactive way.

Suddenly, no more blood sugar crashes, fatigue gone, and I felt like myself again.

Funny how that works.

I bring all this up because a lot of things happen below the surface in men like me who feel like adolescents in the bodies of older men.

We’re forced to grow up again and again.

And that’s okay because constant maturity has never been a strong-suit of mine, and reality checks are just part of what keeps me going.

As most people know at this stage of the game, denial is the mother of misery.

How to Defy the Laws of Aging

Christie Brinkley, 62

http://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/celebrity/11-stars-over-50-who-are-defying-the-laws-of-aging/ss-AAlgyk0?li=BBnb7Kz

Anyone who’s had any exposure to people of means knows that any physical resemblance to average people is a stretch.

For example, it is not uncommon for 50-year-old women to look younger than her actual years.

No lines, exceptionally fit, tanned and polished to perfection.

This takes time, money and the right culture group to keep them motivated.

And believe me when I tell you, what they have to lose by not keeping themselves in exemplary condition far outweighs the alternative.

Having said all of this, as a veteran of these byways, I can spot a 50 or 60 year old women a mile off.

Sure, they look great for their age, and certainly better than their less well off contemporaries. But make no mistake about it: they still look 50 or 60.

So while Ms. Brinkley looks great for her age, she is still 62 no matter how great she looks for 62.

The same applies to me, by the way.

We look great by comparison to others, but we’re still where we are no matter what any plastic surgeon has to say about it.

How Does Billy Bob Thornton, 61, Do It?

Billy_bob_thornton

Baby Boomer, Billy Bob Thornton, was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas on August 4, 1955. He is an American actor, filmmaker, singer, songwriter, and musician.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3757208/Why-beauties-fall-Hollywood-s-unlikely-lothario-Billy-Bob-Thornton-charmed-Angelina-Jolie-Amber-Heard.html

In the above article you’ll read all about how Billy Bob managed to nail so many beautiful young women.

But as I have always said, women don’t see a whole lot with their eyes unless it involves themselves or other women.

This is because women for the most part are drawn to the darker mysteries of intellect, power, success and surrender – usually in that order.

I know. Shocker.

“Billionaire Executive, 56, Dates 22-Year-Old Woman.” So What?

373C67AD00000578-3740712-image-a-36_1471220471228

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3740712/Billionaire-real-estate-executive-56-divorces-wife-15-years-date-22-year-old-Harvard-student.html

This is decidedly a “non-story.”

So why did I publish it?

To make yet another in an eternally long string of identical points, that wealthy older men who date much younger women are simply leveraging assets the way everyone does at every stage of life.

Young men leverage youth, beauty and the prospect of future success while older men leverage success, maturity and appreciation, among others.

It’s all asset management, consciously or otherwise, but usually consciously.

Then, and only then does everything else matter.

It’s no different than everything else in life.

We leverage what we have at our disposal and for those who come up short, you see comments like the following:

“I hope she gets half the money”

“Oh god, lol! What a joke!”

“I’ll date ya, man. I’m not a female, but for the amount of cash you are willing to throw around, a little experimentation is ok.”

“It’s good to be rich…..It’s then you only see that ALL women have a price tag !”

“Rich men can be the biggest fools when it comes to women. They might have loads of cash but fail to own mirrors.”

If everyone could afford their fantasies, they wouldn’t blink.

Now you know a little more about the people commenting, both men and women.

Psychology and the Retirement Nest Egg

heart-moneyMost of us Baby Boomers have launched retirement calculators a thousand times. Almost every financial institution has one, and invariably, the ones we tend to go to offer the most optimistic outlooks on how much we can spend until the day we die.

The problem is that no one knows exactly when they’re going to die, or if they’re going to die for those of us who’ve opted for cryogenic sleep.

Nonetheless, there is still an annual charge for keeping a body on ice, perhaps for a thousand years or more, so there’s that.

So here’s the dirty rotten obnoxious and existential nightmare-provoking truth: You probably won’t outlive your money.

As I stated in my book, Urban Dystrophy, The Perverse Truths About Mid Life in the Big City, a starter portfolio is $5,000,000.

I know I know. How the hell are you supposed to save $5,000,000 on a $500,000 annual salary over the course of 25 or 30 years?

After taxes somewhere in the 39% range, you’re only taking home somewhere in the $300,000 range.

If you own a home that costs $1,000,000, you can expect to pay $25,000 in property taxes and after a 20% deposit, approximately $60,000/year on a mortgage.

Now add electricity and other related home expenses and you’re down to $200,000 — and you haven’t taken a vacation, bought a single meal or paid a single car note.

Back out those expenses and with luck you have approximately $150,000 left over.

If, however, you have 2 kids, you have basically nothing left over.

So, for the past 25 years you’ve made $12,500,000 and don’t have a dime left in the bank.

Even if you were frugal enough to contribute $75,000,000 a year to a retirement account [for 25 years], you would still only have $1,875,000 in contributions, plus investment interest at an average of around 5%, so $2,800,000 – $3,000,000.

Seriously?

If you retire at age 65, that’s not even close to enough for anyone I know.

The reason for this is because you want to live the same way you did before you retired, which means you’ll need a few million more to generate the income you need to avoid running out of money before your time is up.

For most men I know who give a crap about living well in retirement, the number is around $7,000,000.

At a 5% return, you’re still at 350k/year.

If, however, market crashes, feel free to put a bullet in your head because being broke isn’t worth the struggle for older people.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MONEY

Most men my age validate themselves based upon their relative financial security.

And while every psychiatrist on the planet will call bullshit on this because it’s about as unhealthy a perspective as one might have given the vagaries of money.

But nothing is going to change it unless you plan to join a monastic congregation in Burma.

Money is kind of like a living thing that follows you around wherever you go.

When it doesn’t, you have a big fat fucking problem.

Walk into a car dealership, new prospective home…or hell, the Apple store, and see what happens when the money monster isn’t with you and smiling.

Then you know true meaning of nausea.

The reason you feel the hubris of filthy rich older men with the tans, snow white veneers and $3000 suits is because they’ve beaten the system.

They’ve overcome whatever life can throw at them, shy of a brain aneurysm, stroke or stage 3 cancer.

In other words, they can ride out the highs and low of the stock market, or pay marginal tax increases and still live their lives without making any changes whatsoever.

This is where you want to be, but unfortunately, probably won’t be.

The media is always talking about wealth; who has this or that.

Magazines feature $5,000,000 homes like they’re normal abodes for anyone who’s led a reasonably successful life.

But this is a lie.

The only way to afford a home like that is to inherit it or sell something.

Salaries don’t pay for homes in that price rage.

Investment capital does.

Psychologically, this is a massive hurdle for otherwise success older men facing retirement.

You look down the road at the rest of your life and you don’t see the picture you’ve been sold…and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.

Many men lose their younger girlfriends and/or wives to cut backs in lifestyle.

The ones who don’t tend to be with women their own age who have little to no value on the dating market, who and just sty put.

On top of all this we have a government hell bent and determined to tax out of existence everyone in the middle to upper middle class – including the bottom end of the top 3%.

This is because there are more of them than there are people with $100,000,000 or more who don’t feel any tax increases whatsoever.

So now we have an oligarchy and you’re on the wrong side of it.

WHAT TO DO

1] Figure out how much you absolutely, positively need to live the way you want to live and carve your expectations accordingly.

2] Accept that fact that as you near the end of your life, your retirement savings will be nearing the ends of it’s life.

3] Add 5 years to your anticipated lifeline and then hope and pray you don’t outlive it.

4] Find someone in your personal life who can handle stock market turbulence.

5] Don’t marry a gold-digger unless you’re in the $100,000,000 demographic.