Thursday, November 02, 2006

Advancing Years

I mentioned yesterday about feeling a bit blech, about being tired and having sinus & allergy symptoms. One thing kind of struck me this morning as I was doing the 20 minute trudge from the nearest train station to my office. This week - I feel old. Or older at least. I've been sleeping alright, but waking up still feeling tired. During my walks this week I've been noticing discomfort in my knees. This morning as I surveyed the bags under my eyes I briefly considered "Just how much is 'too much' to pay for a quality eye cream?". Trimming my beard this morning I noticed more greys, and looking at recent photos of myself I can see the ageing (and of late) the extra pounds.

I usually don't feel old, and I'm always passing for younger than 42, so everything from the forebrain on back knows that I'm doing alright for 42. Having said that, and knowing that this is a temporary psychological aberration, it's still a bit sobering. It's a wonderful lesson in ego grasping in particular.

Making new friends only to discover they are 13, 15 or 20 years younger is likewise a bit sobering. I remember the promise of being 29, 27, 22. Don't get me wrong, 42 is not ancient and decrepid, but I understand why people often have a crisis in their 40's. Aside from trying to accept the physical changes, it's also surveying the current state of affairs and thinking a) Is this it? and b) Where to from here? and c) Realistically, my options are being scaled back.

Yikes, this sounds maudlin. It's not meant to be.

Making peace with ageing is important I think, and a part of that is looking at it realistically and being truthful about it. I'm sure next week, with more sleep and an improved sinus situation, I'll feel less tired and ancient than I do this week, but it's also worthwhile to notice the physical changes of ageing and roll with the punches. That doesn't rule out fighting back however, I mean some of the eye creams on the market now are fabulous, right?


Michael said...

If you get between me and my unguents, you won't need yours, cuz I'll scratch your eyes out.

Crisis! Did someone say crisis!? I'm in the midst. Have been for some time. Very "is this all there is?", as you say. Very "is this what I thought I'd be?". One thing I'm revisiting is my belief that I'm OK alone. I have been for quite a long time. I'm not lonely by any means, but lately I keep thinking about how fun I can be and depriving some behung man of enjoying that is just not right. I kid, but I do suddenly get the coupling thing, after all these years. Odd?

The Other Andrew said...

I hear you, girlfriend. I get you. (PS. I got a chubby at the word "unguents", but you know I'm a vocabslut, right?)

I guess part of it for me (which I excised from the post, but share now) is also looking at another recent attempt at making a partnership with someone, one that ultimately didn't work out, and considering whether I'm likely to get any/many other offers. Now that DOES sound maudlin. That's all Long Dark Night Of The Soul stuff, but to be truthful about ageing is to consider that. I thought I would be in a different space at 42 in some parts of my life. That's not to say I'm unhappy, because I'm not, but a domestic partnership + dog was on the longterm plan.

Time to be sanguine I guess.

Michael said...

Grab a pole, dear, I could use some help navigating the muddy waters of the Sanguine.

A partner and a dog. Sigh. Are they in my future? Are you out there right now my cuddly barking Boo Radley? Are you out there right now my scruffy smart aleck who smells like sex? I leave it for you to decide which is which.

Michael Guy said...

So you two think you have some soigne club on aging? Pfft! You better roll out the red carpet cause here I come. Try 50 on for size...then we'll talk. Andrew, love--the world adores a hopeless romantic. Shop early for the best selection though--in men AND eye creams. I prefer CLINIQUE under my eyes and runner-types under my balls. Ahem...

Michael, dearheart--enough with the Peggy Lee tune; I don't think you need a pole to navigate with. I think you found that pole; it adores French bulldogs by the way. Yep.

The Other Andrew said...

MG - you make ageing look good, if you want to get down to brass tacks and honest talk. If I age so (dis)gracefully at 50 then I will be a happy man. 'Runner types'?... hmmm, let me think who I know who is a 'runner type'?... :) Oh, and I adore French and Bulldogs.

Jodie Sorrell said...


Sorry to hear about your ageing dilemma, but I would like to put the girls side into this story. TOA, you men can get away with sprouting a beard, grey or otherwise, us girls can't and from now on I will forever have a pair of tweezers in my handbag (only 34).

As for only get better for us ;-)

Eye Cream - Eliazbeth Arden and Chanel Hydromax for those dry days.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

go the eyecream, TOA, I like a man (gay or straight) who hydrates.

life expectations is a toughie. for myself: I don't know whether it's been wrong to not have enough of them in order to have something to strive towards, or good that I haven't had any to look up to and be crushed when I don't achieve them. I suspect for this reason, I won't have (too much of) a mid-life crisis. unless I'm going through one right now and don't know it.

aging, what can I say? it happens, it's inevitable, the only thing you change is how gracefully you approach it.

this is when the right amount of upkeep & maintenance versus enjoying the process becomes of great import.

eyecreams: good. cosmetic surgery: bad.

dressing to suit one's complexion and shape: good. still wearing black next to one's face when it makes you look 12 years older (the time approaches for me, I fear), or anything involving spandex: bad.


fortunately you are someone who will always be surrounded by people who care about you, which I actually think is one of the important things about aging. your community. the people who love you and will be there for you.

now, excuse me while I go and tell a fart joke or something to make up for being deep.

Mindy said...

Maybe you need to get the dog first? I don't think you look your age. I'd still guess mid to late 30's.

James said...

On the cusp of my 41st birthday, I've begun to hold the railing as I walk down staircases.

Q - 60's girl said...

Andrew so far as tiredness and joint discomfort i advocate the "wheat-free" food. It isn't as difficult as you may think. Trust me you will feel soooo much better. One in three are allergic. I use to be crippled by my arthritis and now i am running and my mornings are great ;) Try it!

kris said...

Dear god, FORTY-TWO? My jaw honestly dropped. You seriously, seriously don't look it. I would have bet money on your being in your mid-thirties.

kris said...

No joke; I just put the question to the Snook. "How old do you think Other Andrew is?" He thought for a second. "Thirty-four," he said definitely. SEE?!

Therin of Andor said...

Re: realizing that new friends are so incredibly young:

I entered a bar recently with two fairly new friends, a couple in their early 20s. The woman was stopped at the door by the bouncer to produce her photo ID. Her boyfriend was laughing hysterically, but then the bouncer asked him for his photo ID. At 47, I then asked cheekily/hopefully, "Do you need to see mine?" - and then secretly worrying because I don't drive and don't actually carry photo ID - but the bouncer said, "No, only your kids'."

The Other Andrew said...

James, I see you get where I'm coming from. : )

Mindy & Kris, thanks for the kind words. I normally don't feel forties, which was where I was sort of going with this post. I've used skin care most of my life and avoid too much tanning, plus the whole picture in the attic 'thing'.

Quinn, you know I might try that. My diet has been shot of late. Really shot. Part of why my sinus is bad again, I've been careless about sticking to the routine my naturopath laid out of me - that worked so well.

Therin, "No, only your kids"... Ouch!