I feel the clock ticking with work, but I know it is probably self-induced as I am over the age-40-bump and I see the back end of life coming around at me like a cobra. I am more likely to bite the cobra right on the neck, even if it bites me. I do not live in the backseat and I sometimes have to remind myself that I am not palatable to everyone, that my gung-ho shit is unsettling as can be to the mere mortal.
So where does age matter? I got an offer on Thursday to work down in Miami on this project I’ve been a part of since last year - literally any time I want to. I cannot tell you how much better this body enjoys the heat, but it is a lot. I see age as having influenced that over time. If I had been an athlete, I bet I would ache even more.
Time running out for me is where age matters. While I have the desire to try new things, to keep refreshing myself as I go on with life, I struggle to get started even though I’m a great self-starter. And do not try to micromanage me or I will put you in a death-star choke hold. Procrastination is my achilles heel at times; I clearly do not have an excess of time at my disposal. I didn’t even have this in my 30s, but I did not see it as clearly!
I have been considering getting my teaching certificate for a solid 10 years now. Do I have it yet? Nope. I am instead looking into learning math - I am literally the village idiot at math, and I am tired of it. College algebra is where I ended (and not bitterly so, but thank God for all of those TA’s in college). I also want to learn Spanish and Italian because I am a little Spanish and a lot of Italian, and I want to travel to both countries, and I want to understand the huge Spanish speaking population in the USofA. I also want to learn how to weld. I’m writing 2 books, reading at least 4 others, and oh boy, everything else. But so what. Everyone is busy. Stupid excuse, I tell myself.
A guy who lives down the road from me says he has the welding gear and I need to try the things I want to do and succeed or fail at them, but try nonetheless.
Age differences at work are definitely showing themselves. I read an article about a woman who was seeking a job at age 45 but was running into being over qualified, and not seeing jobs her daughter was seeing - the job targeting market has gotten smarter in recent years. Has age discrimination evolved along with technology? Perhaps.
Age differences in relationships have always been such a topic of persnickety gossip of epic, jealous proportions. You can do worse than that, especially if you and your partner do not share key agreement on several important factors. Whoa, she’s a wizard at relationships all of a sudden. Yeah, nope.
- Finances - almost the #1 most important issue I can imagine - spending habits, lifestyle expectations are extremely important to agree upon together
- Family - children, family relationships - do you want children? (either your own together, or your partner’s - and all that comes with it?) Hard conversation, but even harder after the fact, when you wake up to the reality of every day life together.
- Interests - do you share core interests; do you agree on sex/drinking/partying/rec drug habits; do you have the same level of activeness? It is literally laughable how many hours I wasted attempting to accommodate the ultra couch potatoes of this world by modifying what I wanted to do for what they wanted to do. I dated a girl who literally lived on the sofa until the stroke of 10pm, when she gravitated out to the club until 3am. No wonder she ended up with the DJ. (also fine with me, I never wanted to be up until 3am, it totally screws up my desire to exist in the AM)*
- Work Ethic - closely tied to #1; this is impactful, not just in a 9-5 sense, but in taking care of the household together. Yes, the routine of life is mundane at times! That’s life!
I have seen age matter the most when people have dissimilar interests and thusly (that’s right, thusly) rope in a troupe of other people to fulfill all of their needs. I do believe a spouse or partner cannot fulfill all of the other person’s needs, not entirely, but if you get into a relationship to spend it all with your boys out on the town, there’s a lot you are losing in translation.
If you have to go drink your face off because your spouse will not, it is so unfair to your spouse, and it puts a lot of pressure on the relationship (read: arguments). If you are not social, but married to the most social person ever, you have either got to give a little, and not resent, or don’t do it. I knew this older couple who retired together and one of them was happy as a clam to wander about the house every day watching the Weather Channel. The other was not and said, we are going to do this retirement actively or not at all. Strong words, but why settle? You think you have 2 spins around on this planet? All those old souls just said YES!
My grandfather was an active dude until he turned 84 and then he just stopped. I remember stopping by his little house and there he was, up on the ladder with the electric saw trimming the trees. An 80 year old guy out in the 95 degree heat doing yard work. I talked to my Aunt Kay on Saturday night while I was camping. She is my partial-namesake and I love her dearly. She has owned a lot of apartment buildings in the city for many years, and up until the last 5 or 6 was active in managing them all. She is in her late 80s now and what a pistol! I love that she is my great aunt and I love knowing where all of my hutzpah came from because I don’t really have much to go on otherwise. She keeps me connected and I told her so. She told me she loved me about 40 times and god-bless and all those things I love about old people and miss so terribly after they are gone.
I could go on at length and deprive you of more time to go dunk your cookies in milk, so I’ll close by saying that after some consideration age matters at some point, but a lot more can go wrong than being too old or too young in life. It’s better to focus on the present moment, which is all we own, and barely that!