Oct 29, 2013

Things You Overhear on the Subway

I read an article that summarized a recent Pew Research study. It said that, if given the option to undergo medical procedures to slow the aging process, allowing them to live to 120, 56 percent of folks said, "Nah." I am not in that group. In fact, hell, stall it down to 200. The study goes on to say that the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.7. And, you know what? That sucks. Here's why. 

At 34, I feel like I am finally getting a handle on life. I barreled through my 20's, and it wasn't until my 30's that I really got acquianted with and dealt with all (well most) of my shit. And despite the perhaps late arrival, I feel like everything unfurled as it should have. I am genuinely happy. This is good. This is actually wonderful. 

But let's do some math for a moment. For the sake of simplicity and my poor math skills, I shall round up. Let's say the average life expectancy is 80. And let's say I'm 40. What is that? Half. It's half done. And that's why it sucks. Stop and think about that. Your life may be half over. I guess this is why people have mid-life crises. That realization coupled with the fact that we don't feel a day over 16 is enough to drive anyone to get tattoos and motorcycles and do 80 down the highway to feel the wind in their face and feel alive. I mean, I won't because motorcycles scare me. Maybe I will just go running...really fast. (You know, most cells in your body live and die and turn over. The neurons in your brain do not. The ones that you're born with are the same ones you have today. It's been said that this could be why we never feel as old as we really are...the human brain does most of its development in the first 20 years of life.) 

Aging is kind of graceful, but it's kind of a bitch. While I am happy, as I just said, I look in the mirror and I see all of the white hair that I have accepted as part of myself now. Well, until I gather up another $200 to head to the salon. I see the wrinkles beginning to show. And it seems that my desire to settle down before the white hair and wrinkles took over has gone out the window. But again, that's okay. I'm just not okay with it being kind of, sort of, half over. 

So anyway, I've been tossing this around in my brain. Trying to figure out what it means. Trying to figure out how to make work life better. Trying to figure out if 30 is in fact, the new 20. Sitting on the subway tonight I heard two girls talking. At first I thought they were in their early 20's. But after listening to them for awhile I question that assessment. But here's the kicker: 

"So my uncle, well my ex-uncle trained for a marathon. He was 40 when he started training. But the marathon really screwed up his back. Well, I mean, he was old anyway."

The universe pays attention to your thoughts. And sometimes it throws them right in your face and fucks with you. But it's all good. I still love you universe. Those girls, not so much. 

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