To the normal person, aging is considered a natural process that one accepts.
To the normal urbanite, it’s a disease like leukemia that one fights tooth and nail with testosterone, dermal fillers, plastic surgery and 6-hour kickboxing classes.
With this in mind, I can state unequivocally that aging is the crucible of my generation.
NEWSFLASH: We are NO LONGER the center of the universe.
Now the only way we get that level of attention is by doing something that lands us on the evening news.
Many refer to this phenomenon as “invisibility.”
Some describe it to be a lot like death, but more expensive.
Whatever it is, though, sucks.
In the article, the answer is to “use our accumulated wisdom and experience to help guide the next generation.”
For some, this is enough. They coach Little league, get involved in charitable causes, move to Florida.
But for millions of others, this is not how they see themselves, or the balance of their lives, which could very well span several decades.
For me, it’s about getting up everyday and putting one foot in front of the other.
Think of it as the first step in a twelve-step program.
If you can’t get out of bed, you just as soon swallow that bottle of Xanax in the closet.
Your next step is to take stock of what you do have and balance it against what you don’t.
I use a Magic Marker and draw a black line down the center of a page: The good is on the left, the bad on the right.
If the “good” column has more entrees than the bad, it’s a good day.
The next thing I do is eat clean. It’s a pain in the ass, but you get used to it.
Then I sit down at my desk and write. This constitutes work, which is critical to any man’s self-esteem. You can’t just drift. It will obliterate whatever is left of you in a heartbeat.
Now you know why people like The Stones still tour. They hardly need the money. It’s about relevance, visibility, and purpose. You have to have a reason to go on.
Okay, so now that you’re eating right and doing something professionally challenging and meaningful, you have to go to the gym.
This does not mean get a gym membership and participate in some senior’s stretching class. It means going to the gym and busting your ass alongside people half your age.
Then you have to rest and recover. This takes longer than it used to and that’s just the way it is no matter what the hell you do.
Next, you will need a life beyond yourself to soften the blows of aging, which involves another human being. Living alone works great for homicidal sociopaths, but not middle-aged men.
If you’re in a dead-end marriage, you owe it to yourself, and your spouse, to either improve the situation or move on.
Putting a hooker on the payroll [like a lot of guys I know] only insures that the already disastrous relationship with your current wife will end up in the hands of attorneys. It’s a downward spiral.
Finally, count your blessings. Remember the list? Read it, over and over and over again until you memorize the good stuff.
I have to do this every day and believe me when I tell you, it keeps the pity party at arms length, which is exactly where it belongs.
By the way, I’m competing again in the USAPL power-lifting competition this July in Houston to hold my state record in the dead lift. Here’s a video of my progress so far…