Each year it gets more difficult to Cheat Death. And easier to accept it.
today at 8:00 am
It’s four in the morning of a restless, sleepless night for no apparent reason. I’m writing from a mysterious source where Dante did his research, the demons escaped once again to bring fear and horror into the sleepless dreams that are more real than life itself.
I have run from the Edvard Munch images that followed me from one ghoulish plot to another. I am a doddering old man plodding his way to an unknown destination; the victim of the familiar grade B movie scene, being chased by unknown assailants; and always, the deathbed, the near lifeless me, close-up of the dying husband/father uttering his last words to specters and re-imagined soul mates.
When fitfully awake, in the twilight that is the screen for the vivid sight of the blind, there was no comfort in the warm bed. It felt as if I was slipping away into dusty relic category, the family heirloom that might have some value but not enough to take it out of the attic and have the pawn shop put a price on it. I saw an eccentric in today’s world, a “once was,” but isn’t any longer. Now, with my eyes open, I put words to the feelings: if you think “Okay Boomer” is insulting, try “Oh Poppa,” delivered with a tsk tsk and a shrug of condescension.
The angst that drove me out of bed has turned into a B-12 shot of energy. I’m thinking of brilliant phrases, ideas for the digital paper, the workshop… but the visions that possessed me intrude. This is foolishness, you can’t take psychic income to the bank. Your keeping busy is merely stirring the pot so the soup doesn’t boil out leaving behind a coating of crud that is impossible to clean.
Exercise will make me feel better, I decide in the early light. It is the constant unremitting advice from wife, doctor, internet health gurus… but it is frigging difficult to do when you can’t tie your shoes or put your trousers on without holding on to the wall.
Sex? The Pornhub link makes a fleeting appearance that passes quickly. It’s a long, unlit road from my hot, lascivious, manly, lusty brain to the nether regions!
Here’s where I pause. First thought: why am I writing this! I’m up to my neck in a pity bath. Second thought: this is way too personal; I am not going to publish this. Third thought, talking to the computer with a dash of petulance: if you’re looking to me to set an example of growing old gracefully, it’s not my job. Final thought: STOP. Wait until the sun comes up. Oh yes, the sun will come up.
It’s 10:00am on a lovely summer’s day. What was that all about last night? “Howard, put that funk behind you. Read your own blog!”
- The pendulum has started its swing; time is running out… stop dwelling on attrition from the creep of time and focus on what you can do to find happiness going forward.
- You can change jobs, swap partners and relocate to new geography but there is no point in moving on if the same obstacles that got in the way of your personal growth aren’t left behind!
- Think of what gives you meaning, pleasure and inspiration and conversely, what causes you discomfort and emotional pain? Don’t shy away from addressing the fears that keep you stuck. Declare loudly, I am not a victim. When you stop waiting to be ‘rescued’ innumerable choices materialize.
- Be grateful for the good luck to have been born in America with a decent brain and the wherewithal to have the options that millions of men can only yearn for. Hold out your hand to those to whom circumstance has passed the shorter end of the stick.
- Ask yourself, “If not now, when?” When the answer comes up ‘never,’ either erase the trip from the bucket list or buy your tickets pronto!
- You can join the chase for status and wealth but be sure your life is balanced with love of family and philanthropy and humility.
- Stop berating yourself with “if only I had done this, tried that.” See the mistakes of the past not as everlasting indictments but as hard lessons learned.
- Take strength from a spiritual presence; an inner life-force where love holds sway; see with clarity the difference between inner happiness (heart centered) and societal definitions of a successful life (ego-centered).
- In the time that’s left, live authentically.
I feel better. Time for lunch.