Tuesday, June 3, 2014

FTT Off-Topic: On Turning 45

It creeps up on you without a warning. Hell and yes.

I love this song and video. For those of you who aren't inclined to press the play button, or figure out what Elvis Costello is saying, he's equating the passing of life as a long trudge where you are beset by people stealing your time... which is also your burden. You give it away, sometimes willingly, sometimes less so, but it's going no matter what. So give it away easily, make your burden lighter and move on.

As I write this, I've got the MLB Network on in the background, because, well, watching "South Park" nowadays is an exercise in wondering how comedy guys can go so wrong. I know this makes me wrong to many people, and I couldn't care less: "South Park" isn't funny anymore. Hasn't been for a really long time. I don't need to see it, we don't need to discuss it, and my opinion about it isn't going to change yours.And that's true of a very large number of things. All I can do is try not to talk irresponsibly, to make my small points when I can, and maybe I can be effective on things where the audience doesn't have a set opinion, or on items where they can be swayed.

And try, very hard, not to get offended when I fail, because, well, that shopping cart filled with clocks isn't going to push itself.

Being 45 means that you are increasingly aware that you've moved to the back nine, and you start to wonder what about your game can still change. Sunday, I was out playing with one of my best friends, and we were paired with two older guys who were walking. None of us were very good, so you do what you can to help each other find your shots. So I stood behind one of these guys to try to keep an eye on his shot, which made him ask me to move. Younger Me would have gotten offended and let that guy find all of his shots from then on. Present Me just moved. (And ignored his shots, like a dick, for about five minutes until I got the hell over it.)

Oh, and 45 is also where the negotiations with your body really begin in earnest. I run 100 miles a month, because not running them would be worse, and setting and meeting goals is how I derive happiness. And it's an argument with my brain every damn day, and the legs, and the knees, and figuring out how to get it done without being up all hours or missing my kids or wife or the games that are important to me, and so on, and so on.

It's trying to not only put away the 3-wood from 250 yards (in that I can't hit it more than 220, ever, even with one hell of a roll and so on), when I could just hit two low irons and give myself the chance to, you know, play like a grown up. (Hell, even I crush that 3-wood, it's going in the sand trap and setting up some other disaster.). Playing like a grown up also means that I'm concentrating and hitting the low irons, rather than self-sabotaging it and hitting some crap shot because I hate myself for not having the balls or ability to hit the pro shot.

Oh, and there's also this... maybe I *can* eventually hit the 3-wood that far. Maybe I shouldn't be accepting my current limitations, and work on my core and timing and equipment. Maybe my Sunday is better spent at the range hitting hundreds or thousands or balls, rather than playing a game. Maybe it's not really 250 yards, and I need the laser sight to get the real yardage, and what's masquerading as "wisdom" is just me taking the easy way out. I've also never started my own business, gone over 10 minutes as a stand-up, sold a book to a publisher, won a big-money poker tournament, bought the mid-life death car of my dream (a Lotus Super 7), broke 90 on the golf course, and so on, and so on. Hell, some part of me wants to pick up the guitar, figure out podcasting...

Or spend more time with my wife, kids, dog.

Every scratch, every click, every heartbeat.  Every breath that I held for you. 45.

Here's what I got for my birthday from the eldest, by the way. I was moved, because that also happens now. A lot. Something about the back nine changes you. And then again, and again, and again.

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