Age is a state of mind…whatever – Beside the Point

I’m not a fan of getting older.

I know the old saying that it’s better than the alternative.

I think somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind I thought I might be everlasting.

My mind is still in its mid-30s but my body keeps pranking my brain. I wish they would just get along with each other.

For the past 10 days I’ve been hobbling around, grunting and groaning. Sometimes I groan knowing the pain is coming. But sometimes I try to snuff it out with some deep breathing exercises. Boy, are those folks looney. I’m pretty sure that some sort of deep meditation can be therapeutic for things like chronic pain, but I just don’t have the patience.

I don’t. I can deep breath and practice some Headspace when this “cuts like a knife” thing takes a break, but when it lets me know something is out of whack. It really lets me know.

Most people have had some type of back pain, sciatic issues, nerve damage. But this is one of those things that makes you question your own mortality.

I’m getting older. Hell, just old.

A couple weeks ago I was playing a backyard game with my niece and nephew, and my brother. You had to throw a frisbee at this plastic bottle sitting on top of a pole. If the frisbee hit the bottle you got two points, but if your opponent caught the bottle before it hit the ground, you didn’t get the points. There were points awarded to the team that threw the frisbee if it wasn’t caught before it hit the ground.

When my nephew threw the disc my mind said, “Oh, it’s going over there. Just run over, jump, and catch it”. My body just laughed, “Yeahhh. No!”

I turned and looked at my brother who’s right behind me at 52. His look and laughter said the same thing my body did.

That’s just no good. I don’t like aging. My hands are starting to wrinkle a bit and I notice that more when I’m typing in the daylight. My knees regularly pop when I bend down and sometimes I have to bounce a bit to get them to pop.

I can’t stand for more than 60 minutes without pain settling in around my lower back and in my right butt cheek.

But then I go out and about my day. I read in the morning to see what news should be extrapolated from state and national news to localize. I check about four different email accounts and I realize there’s plenty of energy in the day. Energy in life.

I get out of the shower and see a balding head, sagging shoulders, a little belly starting to return and I realize that, aside from the hair, it can all be corrected.

Sure our bones shrink and become more brittle as we age, but the more active we stay, the more we can stave off the impending degradation of the musculoskeletal frame.

There’s still much to do. We all have much to do. In a world where we’re locking up baby formula – the world needs us. God needs us.

So today when you make the decision to get out of bed. Swing your legs over and stretch. Take a deep breath and smile. We’re not immortal. But we are important.

Age is a state of mind, even though our bodies may try to trump that state. Fight back. Practice deep breathing, but stretch and stay active. Work your mind as you work your body, make a commitment to eat just a little better. Not leaps and bounds, but steps. Just steps.

I had to forego a golf tournament I was looking forward to because, right now, I can barely manage a fork and spoon, let alone swing a club. But I’ll be back and we’ll move forward slowly and steadily.

I think I’ll try to take age out of the question for a while. My mind will appreciate it greatly. So will my wife…But that’s Beside the Point.

Chuck Vandenberg is editor and co-owner of Pen City Current and can be reached at

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