Breakfast & Biz 4/3/18 – Pressing On

A consideration on growing old

With the off day yesterday, and there being so few games to talk about, I want to shift this morning for a moment, and talk about age.

Much is said about age and how it effects your body. I am not as old as Ichiro, but old enough to be able to measure myself now against the physical peak of my late teens and early twenties, and find the gap between the two depressingly large.

“Everything hurts” is the common expression, and while that’s a bit of an exaggeration in my experience, there is no denying that the simplest tasks or exertion, unless carefully prepped, executed, and recovered from, can leave my body feeling preposterously painful and creaky the next morning. If you listen to people of a certain age, their various maladies, and physical trials are used casually, as a sort of social icebreaker, like the weather, or the exploits of children and grandchildren.

I think perhaps we talk and joke about the physical trials of aging so much, at least in part, to obscure the darker and far more frightening parts: The weathering of our energies, ambitions, and dreams.

Time and experience work in us a slow, deep change. The things that motivate, excite, and energize us at 24 seem small and trivial at 34. I can only assume at 44 it feel much the same again. The question over the epoch of our lives becomes less and less where we are headed, but if we are headed anywhere at all. And if we are, is it a destination worth heading towards? Is it a path worth walking?

The smart ones, the ones that age well, I imagine worry less about the destination, and the path they are walking, than how they are walking. For them, living rightly maybe means allowing for the humility to know that, by and large, we control an utterly horrifyingly small part of how our life will play out. Perhaps at times it’s best to avoid the stillness, to press on, and keep busy with daily labor of the mind and body.

Pausing to take stock of the years reveals so much. Too much. We’ll never be as good as we were, and stopping to consider that is too hard to bear. Maybe we weren’t meant to stop. Maybe we’re supposed to just keep going, until we can’t go anymore.

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Go M’s.

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