Feeling Old

I don’t remember the exact moment or even the exact week that I began to feel old but I know it was some time in 2008. Before that moment, whenever it was, I felt like a thirty-something man living inside an aging body, not so much trapped as looking out through Older Eyes and denying that the world looked different. But some time after I turned sixty-four in May, that changed. Don’t get me wrong … the circumstantial evidence had been steadily accumulating. It became harder to keep my weight down and exercise hurt more than the intensity justified, during and especially afterwards. I began to shave my head to avoid looking like Dick Cheney and my ears to keep from looking like Yoda.

But in 2009, denial became impossible. When Paul Newman died at 82, I was saddened by the passing of my wife’s favorite actor but I also found myself calculating how many years I had left. Eighteen doesn’t seem like much. I began to get a weekly blizzard of helpful advertisements telling me how to sign up for Medicare and Social Security and what supplemental insurance I’ll need in my waning years. After taking care of such matters for my father for years now, it feels like I’m getting his mail. I even got a letter from the Neptune Society (http://neptunesociety.com). The Bucket List, a slightly funny film about of couple of old coots to the young couple in front of my wife and me in the theater, had me pondering my life between laughs. The fact that the couple was texting through the entire movie led me to utter (to myself, thankfully) that certain marker of advancing cootism: “What is wrong with young people these days?”

So, I’m old. And it’s not so bad, except for that thing about eighteen years or so left. That’s not much time and I’ve got a lot to do.

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5 Comments on “Feeling Old”

  1. Sandy Says:

    I love thy blog…ye old Renaissance man!Brought a few laughs, tears and lots of thoughts to mind. Love,S.

  2. Joanne Says:

    I love Bud’s Blog! I always thought it strange that you got so heavily into the sciences when you could play guitar, sing, draw, paint, and write poetry that was so beautiful that for one time in my not-long-enough life, I was jealous of my best friend. I remember saying, “Mur, marry this guy. He’s amazing!” So after browsing Bud’s Blog, I am delighted to find that you are finally getting to your real life’s work. It’s about time. And guess what Bud? As long as you can write fiction, you can step in and out of any age you want. It’s all in the mind.

    Love the Blog!

    P.S. I recently went to the Yale Art Gallery where an unusual Picasso exhibition was staged. It was Picasso’s Passion for Language. Who knew he was a poet? Well, I devoured the exhibit and then ordered “Pablo Picasso: The Burial of the Count of Orgaz and Other Poems.” His poetry is so scatalogical and sensual. Tell me you haven’t felt this quote of his before: “Poem? When I began to write them I wanted to prepare myself a palette of words, as if I were dealing with colors. All these words were weighted, filtered, and appraised.”

    Who cares how old the body is? It’s the mind that we hope to keep young.

    P.S. Thanks so much for sending this my way. I just love it.

    • oldereyes Says:

      I’ve been living this life for a long time … that’s why in my fraternity (a million years ago) my nickname was “Francis the Talking Engineer.” If I’d known you’d be so enthusiastic, I’d have sent it sooner. In all seriousness, you were one of the first people I thought to send it to … we’ve always shared a creative bond. Please check back and stay in touch.

  3. […] Bud started blogging about eight months or so ago and has done a really good job. His first post, Feeling Old is inspiring and set the whole scene for what he was to write in the coming […]

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