ah still got it

12/8/11

Not to be obtuse, but I’m considering that I’m nearing an age where I have to take my age into consideration. I recently read a diary I wrote thirteen years ago that read: “got back from playing basketball and didn’t think ‘I played well’, but thought ‘I played well for being 31’.”

I am now a bit older than 31 – thirteen years older, as I might have mentioned – and still play basketball with (what seems to me at least) a comparable skill level with the requisite tricks, but it that just because we never notice the drop-offs until they’re glaringly obvious?

It has always seemed to me that there’s an incredible change that occurs around 30 or so, when you notice you are no longer “young”. It manifests in some of the following ways:

• you cannot drink alcohol without misery the next day

• a fashion you thought utterly dead from your past has now come back again, and you find it oddly depressing

• injuries heal after a week, not a day

• certain bands are now on the radio that you CANNOT FUCKING STAND

• where once you could sleep on the floor on an adventure, you now require certain creature comforts and medication

• you feel like “it’s about time for it to happen” although you don’t know what “it” is

IanRestaurantLA98(bl).jpg

me at 31: fat, stupid and at Denny’s

You get the idea. Many of these annoyances and perspective-shifts combine to make a good solid depression (or “Saturn returning”, or pre-marriage crisis, etc.) that abates, thankfully, upon getting to the other side.

Physically, at least, it’s a pretty even keel after that disruption – you know what your post-20s body is capable of, you know where to push it, and assuming you keep your shit together, there’s not much you can do at 32 that you can’t do at 45. But then the question is this… when’s the next shift?

Or is there one? Everyone’s different, sure, but is your physical and emotional stamina pretty set, with only slight degradations over time? Or is there that one day at 57 when you open the car door into your shin, gravy pours out, you collapse into thousands of shards, and suddenly you’re in the YMCA kiddie pool doing Old Fartz Yoga?

I desperately want to skydive, but it’s not my age keeping me from doing it, it’s my daughter. I just can’t seem to throw myself out of a plane when she’s counting on me. Most decisions stem from the same tree: I can’t drive like I used to, I can’t create a public nuisance, I can’t fight with cops anymore. As for physical things, my spirit is willing and my flesh is still seemingly strong.

But do any of you, even the younger lurkers amongst you, find yourself unable to do something you used to take for granted?

5 thoughts on “ah still got it

  1. Bozoette Mary

    My husband and I were discussing this last night. (WARNING: Parental discretion advised.)
    HIM: Used to be I didn’t need a pill to get a stiffy.
    ME: And I didn’t have to grease my hoo-ha.
    At least we’re still doin’ it!
    PS-Your 50s are a real wake-up call. That’s when you move from “middle-aged” to “old as dirt.”

    Reply
  2. John

    Just turned 50 in June and since then I can’t even shoot baskets in the driveway w/ my 10 year old son w/o both my achilles killing me the next day(s)!? Eyesight has most definelty declined as well :(

    Reply
  3. kevin from NC

    The 40s are your best decade… enjoy them. You may not run as fast or jump as far, but you have the wisdom to overcome those minor annoyances. In your 50’s one must resort to dirty tricks to stay in the game. Perhaps this is the reason for Wall Street type greed.
    I agree with Bozette on the parental discretion part, but at 54 I hardly feel old as dirt. That may be a function of hanging some with my dad who is 86 and is in fact old as dirt. I think at this stage I could be defined as “eligible to be ignored” but I refuse that designation.

    Reply
  4. Tanya

    I had something more interesting and profound to say, but promptly forgot it when I read Bozoette Mary’s response and collapsed into a heap of giggles.
    I will say, however, that I started feeling anxious about my agen when 2 things started:
    1. I had to wonder whether to apply the zit cream before or after the wrinkle cream.
    2. I caught myself telling my husband that I “don’t like to drive at night.” Cripes. My mother says that…!

    Reply
  5. Anne

    How many? How many hours have you got? Bleah.
    Look out for your 50s. Things fall apart, the center can not hold. And by “center” I mean: Knees.

    Reply

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