On Getting Old

When I started this blog I warned that it would be a mix of personal and photography posts.  This one is likely more of the former, so if you want to read about technique or gear, please feel free to hit the back button now.

Today is my birthday.  Today I’m also the same age that my Dad was when he died.  When I realized that, it truly freaked me out. I don’t feel anywhere near as old as I perceived him to be. I’m actually only 51, but that’s part of what’s strange about it – he died young.

It’s been a pretty reflective time lately, so I thought I’d share some thoughts on what it feels like to get old, for those of you who are still whippersnappers. (if that doesn’t make me sound old, I don’t know what does!).

  1. I don’t feel old, at least mentally.  I asked a friend of mine “Is this what getting old feels like?” He immediately understood and said “I know” in amazement.  It doesn’t really feel any different from when I was 20.
  2. I’ve learned a lot of lessons, many the hard way.
  3. I’ve learned that life is far too short to hold grudges. Almost all everything that you thought was important enough to fight about really isn’t.  In fact there are very few things in life that are truly important. Friendship and love – that’s about it.
  4. This may surprise people that know me but I have absolutely no retirement fund.  None.  I truly believe in seizing the day.  I’ve seen too many friends put off living their life till they’re retired and then they get cancer or life changes to where they can’t live the life they dreamed about their whole life. Watch the clip at the start of this post if you want to know why. And given the genealogy on my Dad’s side of the family, I really don’t have much to worry about.
  5. The biggest one of all:  Figure out what truly makes you happy.  Do that.

Here endeth the lesson.

Tonight is a night of pizza and the start of NFL football.  Sounds like a good birthday to me.

Ttyl,

Mark

P.S.  We’ll return to our regular programming shortly.  Very busy and lots going on behind the scenes.

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7 comments

  1. I can relate to a lot of that. My birthday is on Sat, but I have a few more years til I reach the age of my dad’s death (59). My mom is still going strong at 91+, though. And I still feel like I did yesterday (whether literally yesterday, or 30 years ago).

  2. I believe many people, even at my age, are struggling with what you’re going through — maybe not necessary at feeling old, but in realising what’s important in life. I believe most people of my generation these days have learned to seek what truly makes them happy in life.

    I know I am, and I still don’t know what it is… it’s vexing, but at least I am trying to know what truly makes me smile.

    Happy Birthday!

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