2018-01-30 To The Young Ones

Hey, just wanted to let you know: If you’re around 30 right now, remember that this is as good as it gets as far as physical health is going. You need to get fit now, if ever. Luckily I just barely made the cut.

Growing older is a bitter experience. I knew many people who could eat a lot without gaining weight. I was one of them. I used to think other people should just eat what their body told them to and it would be fine. After all, it worked for me, right? Little did I know that my gut would keep growing, my hunger would grow, my taste would continue to develop. Food gets better and better, wine gets better, everything is better and now we can no longer eat a kilogram of ice cream per week.

Little injuries will take forever to heal. As a kid, you’re so bouncy and light, you rarely ever hurt yourself. And if you do, you’ll heal quickly enough. But later in life, things change. you twist your ankle or wrist and you will suffer for weeks and months.

Everyday stuff starts to hurt. It starts with your back hurting. Are you sitting too long? Is your chair not straight enough? Your table too high? Are you taking breaks, getting up for coffee instead of sitting at your desk for hours on end? You’ll have to change that. Then your shoulders and your hands and your arms start hurting. Bad posture, too much typing. Are you going to risk your job? You’ll have to slow down.

But it’s not just that. Everything starts to hurt. You’re lying in bed, in your favorite position, and your arm starts to hurt. Lie on your back and you’ll start snoring. Lie on your belly and your neck gets twisted. Put your head on your arm and your shoulder starts hurting. Lie on your side and your spine starts hurting. Is the mattress too soft or too hard? The pillow too big or too small? Soon you’ll bring your favorite pillow along on trips.

The sadness doesn’t end there. Hold the love of your life in your arms, kiss and hug, and realize that pleasure is short. You can no longer fall asleep with your love in your arms because the arms start hurting. You can’t have your love’s leg wrapped around you because your pelvis starts hurting. You can’t have your love’s head rest on your breast because your shoulder starts hurting, again.

You sit and your feet hurt. You walk and your feet hurt. I think I must have been around 35 when I started to feel older. And now I know what it is like. Sure, you get used to it. You laugh and shake your head, you still run and dance and fight, but recovery takes longer, and the pain always comes back. You run longer, desperately trying to get your youth and your health back. But it’s not easy to forget. At night, the pain comes back. When you stop, the pain comes back. It’s always there, a constant reminder. Life is short and then you die.

Oh, and another thing my wife’s cancer has taught me. Notice how all the old people you talk to are alive? That’s survivor bias right there. You probably think you’re going to grow old because all the old people around are old. But that’s because all the other people that didn’t grow old are dead. In our society, we don’t often talk about sickness and death, and to talk about your own hurts is something that irritates and bores the young ones. I certainly didn’t care for this conversation. And so I lived in innocent bliss. But once you or your family is hit with a grave illness, you’ll see that behind the happy facade there is a sea of cancer and death. Some people truly have no idea. Others have hidden their pain away and when you talk about sickness and pain you will hear their stories, too. And you’ll start to see the world of the dead. All those grandparents that passed away. All those parents that passed away. All the suicides, drug abuse, mental illness, auto-immune diseases and cancer stories, they’re out there. But we don’t like to talk about them, and many of the victims aren’t around anymore. I lived in innocent bliss when I was younger.

I don’t know what the point of this rambling is. I guess it is this: Party harder. Live more. Seize the day. Don’t waste your life away hoping for change in the future. Your future might not be happening. Find love now. Find happiness now. There is no better time than now. Seize the day like the end of days is coming for that’s exactly what is coming.

Claudia

Also relevant: On the difference of age, or it ain't a big deal by jynx.

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Comments

A very nice response over on tfurrow’s phlog.

Thank you very much! It has been a very long time since I got such a long reply from anybody.

– Alex 2018-02-03 09:35 UTC


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