Today is my 44th birthday. I noticed more pain than usual getting out of bed this morning. More gray in the beard. More shuffling.  More thinking and less doing. More planning and less following through. More expecting the worst and getting it. More blind without my glasses. Need the Ipod volume up even louder to get a good buzz. Money disappears quicker. My kids sucker me into things and they don’t even have to try anymore. I just want to give them whatever they want. Maybe it’s because I adore quiet. Or maybe I love my kids so much I can’t stand to see them not smiling. When you get old a pretty smile from pretty little girls is worth 1000 miles.

I make up my mind really fast now. It’s just that I keep changing it once I make it up. I don’t think this is the same as being indecisive. I think it’s just getting old. I have 5 siblings, and I always seemed to be way younger than all of them. All of a sudden I’ve caught up. How did this happen? When my Dad was my age Nixon was President. I remember Nixon being President. When I was in high school it was considered cool to listen to Bryan Adams and LeBron James was not born yet. The world has gone mad. Everything is too loud and too crowded and too expensive. It pays to be young, assuming you’ve got some sort of freakish talent. Otherwise, being young is sorta like being old without the aches and pains. It’s a day to day struggle…..stay above water….stay under the covers as long as possible….stay indoors unless you want to get mugged by a polar bear in desperate search of ice……stay hydrated…..stay employed until somebody in Mumbai gets paid 1/10th your salary to do twice as much work…..stay out of airports unless you have days to kill, and turn on red, except here. If all else fails you can still wear your Chuck Taylor’s. They never go out of style, although they double in price every 10 years or so.

My hair hurts. That’s when you know you’re getting old. My idea of exercise is to get the mail. I dream all the time but wake up and can’t recall the details. Athletes and musicians I used to hang on my wall when I was a kid are dead now. I can remember not having remote control. The first remote control I did get had a wire. I used to listen to the radio. How sad is that?

High school classmates are grandparents. My daughter is about the same age as the Iraq War. I still wear clothes that are older than both of my kid’s combined. Most people my age have been married multiple times. I can still remember when people used to send letters in the mail. The kind with a stamp. I can recite the dialogue to “Jaws”. The dark circles under my eyes are so pronounced that yesterday my daughter asked me if I was wearing eye-liner. That’s a bit freaky.

So I’m 44. Old perhaps. But lucky to have loved ones who look so close.

In a bit…


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