Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fair to Middlin'

This post is inspired by Stacy's over at Welcome To The Confessional.


At the age of 5 ... I couldn't wait to start kindergarten. To learn to read, to write. I was eager to embark on an exciting journey.

At 15 ... I knew everything and therefore was sick of the journey, sick of my teachers, and sick of of being sick of all the sick-minded adults that kept trying to tell me how little I knew.

At 25 ... I was a lot dumber than I was at 15. Who knows where that knowledge went but as life came at me I realized just how dumb I was.

At 35 ... I'm still trying get back even half of that knowledge I possessed at 15, but I've only been 35 for a few months so there is hope for me yet.

Am I middle-aged at 35? I kind of hope not. At least in the technical sense. (If you define middle age as the midpoint of your life) Yeah I would like to live past 70, long as I can do it without donning depends and lamenting the days when I actually had teeth and could chew my steak instead of being served pureed sirloins in paper cup. But 70 doesn't seem near as old to me as it once did.

You know what I think middle-aged is? I think that is the point when you stop looking ahead and fixate on the past. If you start dang near every sentence with one of these ...

Back in the day ...
I remember when ...
When I was your age ...
Before I needed Viagra ...

... you are living in the past.

Sure it is nice to reminisce every once in a while, but look backward too long and often and you won't see the hand about to smack you in the face.

So I am hereby striking off the term middle-aged. Now here is y'alls assignment. Come up with a new term for those whose years might be half over, but who feel like their life is only going to get better in the coming decades. Sure, Nurse Ratchett is looming in the future, ready to force feed me smashed peas, but that is forty or fifty years down the road. I'm not going to dwell on or fear the day I check into the nursing home. I'm going to have as much fun as I can so that when they open my casket for viewers some one will say,"Man he looks like shit," only to hear in reply. "Yeah, but he earned the right, because back in the day ... "

18 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I used to say that I had not a nostalgic bone in my body. I'm finding at age 49 that I do look back on ocassion, and that I enjoy it. But still most days I'm looking forward to what is next, with little time to worry about the past.

Patti said...

"half-lifer"

man, that's depressing...

The Anti-Wife said...

That's an easy one.

Me!

Melissa Marsh said...

Great post, Travis. I like your attitude.

I actually like to live in the past - since I'm a historian, I guess that kinda makes sense. Or not. ;-)

cs harris said...

I always figured middle age started at 45, not 35. But I guess it depends on how long you expect to live. Or maybe just when the aches and pains start.

Janna said...

I like your blog! Your title and its meaning are fantastic.

I'll plan to visit often. :)

Penelope said...

OK, 35 CANNOT be middle aged. I am 33 and still like to consider myself as on the young end.

-- P

Lana Gramlich said...

"Middle aged" is relative. The only time that truly exists in reality is now. Looking at things from that perspective, I literally have no future to fear. I can't think of a term for this, however.

inherwritemind1 said...

Come up with a new term for those whose years might be half over, but who feel like their life is only going to get better in the coming decades.

Hi Travis,
I had to come out of hiding for this one.

Middle aged at thirty-five? Don't make me spew coffee on my keyboard. At thirty-five, you're just gathering a charge.

My term for "not dead yet" is that I am post-youth.

Jerseygirl89 said...

How can I be middle-aged when I don't even feel like a grown-up? Great post. I'm waiting for the inspiration to describe my thirties, but all I can think of is "double teenager".

alex keto said...

What comes in the middle of the year? June, that's what which is the best month by far in Washington. So just think of middle age as June.

I think the term middle aged got a bad rap from folks who were already old coots when they were born.

Stephen Parrish said...

35 is NOT middle-aged. If you take care of yourself you can reasonably hope (expect?) to live past 100, because medical technology will continue to dazzle us in the decades to come.

I turn 50 this year. I'M middle-aged, although I prefer Tena's term "post youth." YOU are still in your prime.

And by the way, except for wishing my right knee would shut up, I'm perfectly happy where I am on the timeline.

Stephen Parrish said...

Almost forgot: another great post. You're already tired of hearing me urge you to submit nonfiction, but unfortunately for you, I'm not yet tired of urging it.

Josephine Damian said...

They say middle age is 10 years older than whatever age you are now. lol

That used to work for me when I was in my 30's but not any more.

When I was in my early 40's I was at the movies and the ticket gal asked if I was AARP (and thus eligible for a discount). I asked: How old is AARP, and she said: 50.

Fuck! Talk about feeling old.

Now that I'm the same age as Charles, I do refer to myself as an "old woman" (aka "the oldest living grad student") I've given up on the idea of living until I'm 100, so I guess I'm past the delusional stage that I'm middle aged.

Barrie said...

Mildly seasoned?????

Or is that too French fry-ish (I was at Jack in the Box yesterday, and those curly seasoned fries are on my mind.)

Bina said...

I'm 43 and still feel like (and probably act like) I'm in my 20's! I don't think I'll ever hit middle age, or if I die real soon, I could have hit middle age in my 20's!!!!! A different term....

Oneyoungmomma!

Shauna said...

HA! Love it!

Bernita said...

I thought middle age began somewhere around forty-five.
How about pro-age.