Act My Age? Uhhh…what’s that mean?
“Why don’t you act your age?” someone said to me the other day.
It gave me pause for a moment; was I being stupid, mean or nasty? No. Was I being my usual cheesball performer self? Hell yeah. I have no interest in acting my age if that means being a stuffy prick, thank you very much. to some people, acting my age would require having life insurance and disciplining teenage children. And NOT driving a nice car or playing loud stinky rock and roll on the weekends or listening to slipknot while I play poker. To act my age would require feeling pain in certain joints and wondering about my mortgage payment, not spending my money on stuff for me.
The thing is, other than the teenage kids and the mortgage, I DO do some of those things. I do have pain in certain joints and life insurance and think about where I spend my money. I think about how much fibre is in my diet vs how much fat. But I also play loud stinky rock and roll and listen to slipknot. I can relate to a group of 20 year old kids as well or better than I can to a group of mid thirties YUP’s worried about getting the minivan gassed up and whether their khaki dockers are stylish (by the way…they so aren’t). At least with the kids I have a reference point other than that dark ages of music known as “the 80’s” and seeing Wayne Gretzky hoist the Stanley Cup in person as it happened. I know my responsibilities, and I think I do a pretty good job of keeping to them, but I’m not gonna start acting like a middle aged grump just because someone thinks that’s the norm.
I fear acting my age; I just know i’ll be that cranky old guy that all the neighbourhood kids avoids cuz he shouts at them all the time. “Hey you kids! I’m going to call your parents if you don’t get off my lawn!” No thanks man. I don’t want my hair to start falling out or my potbelly to become just the nature of me (presently it’s due to bad eating and not enough excercise, but it’s shrinking at a good pace). I see people I went to high school with and all I can think is “man they got old…what the heck happened?” Then I wonder if I look that old and I spend some time checking the mirror when I’m alone. No wrinkles. No hair loss. I hid the grey. I’ll be 10 years younger than I am as soon as I lose the extra 20 pounds. Maybe I should get the back waxed too… hmmm…
Do I have a peter pan complex? Maybe partially. I do tend to avoid reality a fair bit by fantasizing about different things and sheer escapism. I have a creative mind and it’s not hard to get lost in it. But the thing that’s different between me and your typical PeterPan dude is that I come out and deal with my responsibilities on a regular basis. I will be debt free in 3 months, and making a fair income to boot. I have been building my RSP’s over the past few months. I’ve been watching the diet and increasing the excercise and yes, I am losing weight…not as fast as I could 10 years ago, but that’s ok.
So I figure I’m in a pretty good spot, that’s only getting better. I’m old enough to be mature, but immature enough to have fun. I am just shy of completely financially independant. I’m a bit short and wear glasses, but hey, I can’t control those things. If I can continue my self discipline on the eating and excercising, in six months I’ll be quite fit and in a year I could even be buff. Don’t know if I have that kind of discipline though… 🙂 I don’t plan on winning any triathlons or body building competitions, but I would like to look in the mirror and see a body that I’m proud off for a guy pushing forty.
As far as actually “acting my age” goes, I do act my age. Just differently than you might. Many people say it’s a state of mind; well in my mind I’m still in my mid 20’s only without the fresh college debt and the self doubts. I may not be 100% sure what I want to be when I grow up, but I am 100% sure that I will have as much fun as I can during the discovery process. My goals are pretty well set and my abilities are there, and I have the grace of being at an age where I no longer need to think about the “Where” or “How” I will attain my goals, just the “When”. If I attain them as a sales guy in a leading software firm or as something else doesn’t really matter. As long as it’s fun I won’t become the middle aged guy I fear becoming.