Beauty is in the eye of the blah blah blah (it’s all malarky anyway)

Posted: November 11, 2013 in General, Philosophy
Tags: , , , ,

I figure it’s about time to do a blog about getting older.  While I’m only 28 and don’t self-identify as “old,” I certainly see some trends that might suggest I’m headed that direction–both physically and mentally.  Someone I used to work with who knew me better than most of my coworkers at the time thought of me as a fuddy-dud because I tended to complain about traits and characteristics of the generally younger generations.  After reading the first couple sentences here, I don’t have any issues thinking of myself as having “a zealous focus on order.”

That being said, I’m interested to share the things that most notably, at least in my own mind, add some years to my actual age (and in most cases, for good reason):

  • Getting up early: I’ve begun a very weird habit of getting up considerably earlier than I used to.  This habit has developed in the last few months, and it was something I started doing in an effort to get more regular use out of a surprise present (a Bunn coffee pot) that my wife bought for me.  I used to get up around 6:30am, jump in the shower, get dressed and leave by 7:00am to get to work by 7:30.  Once I had a [good] coffee pot to inspire my early awakening, I started getting up routinely by 5:50 or thereabouts to enjoy a morning brew.  As the days and weeks are going on, though, I’m finding it easier to get out of bed earlier without hitting snooze at least a dozen times (one of my old habits that, frankly, I’m happy I’ve grown out of)…and I’m also getting kind of pumped about getting up earlier.  This morning I got up at 5:15 and it was awesome; this is surely a sign of age and maturity.
  • [NOT] Staying up late: It would stand to reason that this would go hand-in-hand with the first point, but it kind of doesn’t.  Sure, I get tired earlier now because I’m getting up earlier, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.  What is interesting, though, is my tendency to not want to be up late (in spite of what my body is telling me I need).  For example, a group of friends routinely hang out of Friday nights, usually lasting until at least midnight.  Rewind a couple of years, and I would participate as frequently as I could, just because the idea of staying up late was more fun than the idea of going to bad (also, the good company of course).  Now it’s different–while the idea of sharing their company is just as appealing as it always has been (if not more–more on that later), the idea of staying up/out late isn’t nearly as exciting as the idea of lounging on the couch and catching some TV show or going to bed.  How I feel about going to bed hasn’t really changed–I still hate the act, the pomp around getting ready, and laying in bed waiting for the sleep.  But my positive feelings for staying up late–those have diminished considerably.
  • Going out to the “club:” This is misleading.  I’ve never been a bar-hopper or a club-goer.  I’ve been to a handful of bars, and less than five clubs total in my life.  There are a few bars that I would consider favorites, only in the sense that I will likely go to those bars before others if given the option.  But those bars, in many cases, aren’t just bars, or at least aren’t considered primarily to be bars: they’re glorified restaurants with a great liquor (and often, beer) selection.  Even places like Applebees and Max & Erma’s sound, in some ways, more appealing than going to a bar with friends.  This one is easier to accept from the stance that I was never really attached to the bar or club scene, but still, an indicator of certain age-specific tendencies.
  • All you CAN do with a CAN of Joe: I am open about my love for coffee.  It is by far, and without any doubt in my mind, my favorite beverage.  I can drink it hot, warm, cool (as in, sitting around for a few hours without being touched), or iced, and I can drink it at any time of the day.  There is rarely a time when I would turn down a cup of coffee if it were offered.  Given the option of marrying an inanimate object, my soul mate would be coffee.  And in that sense, I have had a lot of varieties and am no stranger to “gourmet” coffees, from coffee shops and through self-brew at home.  I would spend a lot of money of specialty coffee if money were no object in my life (even this stuff).  But in a recent act of budget-reducing-fury, I proved to my wife my commitment to saving a few dollars per month on coffee by purchasing generic, pre-ground coffee in a can.  When I was growing up, my mom always had Folgers or Chock full o’Nuts (you know, it’s that heavenly coffee) in a can and brewed it every morning, enjoying it at the dining room table.  Well this crap I’m buying is EVEN CHEAPER than that, which demonstrates to me that my dedication to the monthly budget is slightly more important to me than enjoying my coffee just a little bit more than I do currently.  It’s not all bad, since I have a Bunn my coffee is awesome regardless.

I know what you’re thinking–“Holy crap dude, you are a fuddy-dud.”  Well, sure, I’ll accept that, and I am in no way ashamed or embarrassed by the items above–but there are plenty of tendencies of getting older that I am overwhelmingly thankful for as well:

  • Finish what’s on your plate: I tried to convince my four-year-old over the weekend that someday she would look back and have happy memories at the time spent at the dinner table on a regular basis.  And just like I did when I was a kid, she didn’t believe a damn word coming out of my mouth (and took the offensive, trying to convince me I was wrong).  But I know it’s true, and so do you…she will learn in time, and that’s OK.  What’s more, though, is that there are a whole slew of things that my mom told me I’d appreciate someday that I have really come to enjoy.  These “coming of age” moments that my wife and I have been able to share, as we recognize that we are becoming our parents, that are really enjoyable (that is, once you get over the initial shock).
  • Skipping nap time: Specifically in the last 6-9 months, I have really been enjoying time with my kids–so much so that I don’t mind keeping them up for nap time, or even extending their bedtime by a half hour or so.  This is surely not a shocker to my fellow parents, but for some time while I was going to school after my kids were born, I wasn’t all that excited about spending time with them.  They are, and always have been, awesome kids, and along with marrying the love of my life, easily the best thing to ever happen to me–but I didn’t always get pumped about seeing them.  Lately, I just like being around them, even if the time is largely occupied by yelling and time-outs.
  • Coffee after dinner: This isn’t such a recent development, but I really enjoy spending time with my parents and grandparents during the holidays.  When I was growing up, all the grown ups would spend the hours after dinner sitting around a table talking, not playing games or running around, which never made much sense to me.  But after losing more than a few aunts, uncles, and grandparents, and even my mom, I can’t tell you what I’d give to sit with them right now after an amazing dinner and talk about nothing specific.  If heaven is anything, it’s sitting around a dinner table with cups of coffee in hand, just being with your friends and family.

So, at the end of the day, I’m pretty happy where things are right now.  I have plenty of “me” time in the morning and “we” time in the evening, access to a decent meal out at an acceptable price, a good cup of coffee that my mom would appreciate, home-cooked meals at a table with the three most important people in my life and plenty of entertainment when we’re done eating…things could definitely be worse.

Officially, I’ve been doing this for a year now…I can’t believe how much has changed in a year, and I can’t imagine what next year will look like–but I bet it will be an awesome ride.  Thanks as always for reading.

Be well and stay tuned.

  1. […] action, like avoiding road rage even when that asshole driver behind you deserves a flat tire, or eliminating frivolous spending from your monthly budget.  I’m hopeful that I can continue to make that […]

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