I once saw a picture of Mother Teresa, it was in black and white and her face was covered in wrinkles. The caption said, “How old would you think you are if you did not know how old you were?” I used to think that people got older and became old people inside. For the most part, that does not seem to be the case. Most of my contemporaries and I are starting to have aches and pains, be slower, give up some sports and generally feel the wear and tear, and yet inside, we are very much the same. It seems like we are in a time bubble where our shell ages but our core stays young. I used to feel like I was 17 inside until I reached about 40. Now that I am 48, I feel maybe 23. I love to play video games, talk smack, play poker and basketball, chill with the friends, hang with the wife and the dogs. Nothing seems to have changed. Yet I look in the mirror and some old guy looks back at me with wrinkles and graying hair.
I think we all have this Dorian Grey thing going where we ignore the passage of time and still feel young until something reminds us, our own hidden portrait, of how old we are and how brief life can be. One is talking to my son or daughter. They are now 24 and 27 respectively. How the heck am I old enough to have adult kids? When did that happen? I remember when I was growing up my parents listened to 50s music, and I liked it, but it sounded ancient. I grew up listening to 80s music. I know it is 30 years old now, but it still sounds fresh to me. It must sound like old fogey music to kids today. I am listening to parent music…and it used to be kid music… I know of Rhianna, Adele, Lady Gaga, Usher, and so forth. It’s not like I live in a cave, but my music still calls to me.
I listen to talk radio more than music. I admit it. I would rather read a book than read on a Kindle, though I have both. I watch old movies that came out while I was younger, and everything looks so old, the buildings, the cars, the clothing. I shout out at the screen – but I was alive then, and everything was modern back then. What happened? I remember thinking I would never see the year 2000, it was so far in the future. Now it is 12 years in the past. I watch old sci-fi movies that have robots taking over our space bases in 2004. I guess they were wrong about that.
Last week I found out that the pain in my legs and hips is not from arthritis after all. I have asceptic necrosis. It is most likely caused by the steroids I was given for asthma earlier in life. I meet with the surgeon in two days, but the only treatment I know of is hip replacment. Everyone is telling me, hey it’s routine now, they do them all the time. I would probably tell someone the same thing. The problem is, I am 23 inside. I don’t understand how I could possibly need a hip replacement. Those are for old people aren’t they? I am still in denial. I have put off calling for the second and third opinions because it still surreal for me. It seems like a lot of bone to be taken out and replaced with plastic and metal.
I once joked that when we are young and have to go to the hospital, we always say, “Wow, I sure am glad to get out of the hospital, glad I don’t have to go back.” And…as we age, we go to the hospital and it is more like, “I wonder when I will have to go back…” Aging kind of sucks all the way around, but the alternative – dying young – does not seem to have that much going for it either. I will continue to be young at heart and try to ignore the fact that time flies by and my body is bearing nearly five decades of abuse now. Hopefully, the surgery and recovery will go well, so I can be back to my self-delusions quickly. 🙂