My grandmother is 88 this week and I’m 44 later this month. I’m feeling middle aged and it is far different than I expected. What did I fail to anticipate:
My physical life – I’m a better athlete at 44 than 24. Being the youngest in my class, I was a late-bloomer athletically. I didn’t think of myself as an athlete until my 30s.
Eyesight – I thought it would hold up a lot better – I’m not far off needing reading glasses – I guess it’s an occupational hazard from twenty five years of staring at a computer screen.
Three kids – that is only a moderate surprise – that they appeared in four years starting when I was 40 was unanticipated. When I lived in Hong Kong, I had a friend retire early to start a family – he was in his early 30s and told us that he didn’t want to be an “old dad”. At the time, we agreed that being an ‘old dad’ was something we all wanted to avoid. As a middle aged parent, I can assure you that these concerns are over-blown.
Far more important is to avoid being an ‘angry dad’ because you’re over scheduled – or a single parent because you married prior to making yourself fit for marriage. The last point being applicable to me – married at 29, divorced at 31.
A number of my pals, particularly those who have been in long-term committed relationships lose their way in their 40s and 50s. I see them take a ‘time off’ from their marriages and shack up with an available woman. The women should remember that if he left his wife then he’s likely to leave you. The guys should consider their deeper needs as they can likely satisfy themselves without exploding their home lives and damaging their communities.
moderation – exercise, consumption, alcohol, sex, productivity
I have a very good role model in my father in law with where I’m likely to end up in my 70s –