Friday, April 11, 2014

My middle-aged journey comes to an end

Today at Pierini Fitness, we are graced to have a guest blogger. He's a good friend and a former business partner who I''ll introduce to you in cyberspace by his last name of Clark.  What follows is his blogflection and your daily food for thought.

Guest blogger Mr. Clark on his
last day  as a middle-aged man
My good old friend and former business partner - known in cyberspace as Pierini - gave me this guest blog assignment yesterday with a rather short deadline. 

According to his reckoning, I now have one day left being a middle-aged man because tomorrow I turn age 70.  As the ambassador of all middle-aged men of the world, Pierini has informed me that middle-aged man status ends at age 70.  I’ve never known him to be wrong so it must be true!

For the past few years as I stare out the window and watch the trees moving in the wind, I sometimes get these strange feelings of the long passage of time and the shortage of it remaining.  It doesn't feel scary and I can't explain it, but it actually feels comforting and I am grateful for life and my time here.  Over the 25 years of my middle age three children have matured and six grandchildren have arrived.  My wife and I have begun to truly get old together and our love has grown and matured through good and bad times.

Health and fitness are blessings and should never be taken for granted.  I always went to the gym, swam a lot, and was very fit.  But almost at the beginning of middle age, I had a major body failure when it was discovered I had developed a rare form of cancer in my pelvis that would require many surgeries and long stays in the hospital.  I got through all that with a lot of help from friends and family including Pierini.   I was left with an array of internal hardware, a crippled leg, and pain that has continued to this day.  I walk with crutches and long excursions are now done on an electric scooter. 

So middle age came with challenges I had not anticipated nor planned for, but they got handed to me nevertheless.  I admit I have felt sorry for myself at times.  When disaster strikes, a little self pity is called for.  But for the most part I have tried not to let the early onset of disability define who I am and what I'm about.  

Disability has undoubtedly influenced how I have experienced the past 25 years.  Over time I found that the human body and mind can adapt to almost anything.  Most of what is disability is really mental.  I read a book about a climber who was permanently injured and he said that out of the 100 things he used to be able to do, he could still do 90 of them.  That's not bad really!  I have found it actually focuses my efforts more narrowly and usually for the better. 

Here are some things you may need to think about during your middle age journey:

  1. If you have daughters, even a small wedding will cost many thousands. 
  1. If your parents are alive, you may end up having the responsibility to care for them.  They may or may not receive that care with grace, but they are still entitled to respect and love.  The opportunity to experience what it’s like to get old, disabled and dependent came at an early age for me.  Although it was doable, it wasn't fun. 
  1. Make plans to send your kids to college. 
  1. Tell and show your spouse and kids you love them frequently.  They need it and so do you. 
  1. Always have a good CPA like Pierini. 
  1. Pay attention to the passage of time because it goes fast and you won’t get any of it back. 
God bless us all.  Keep me in your thoughts and prayers as my middle-aged journey comes to an end.

Thank you my dear friend for your outstanding middle-aged man reflection about living and dying, gracefully aging and trying your best to live a good and honest life. See you tomorrow at your birthday party.  

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


tommy helms said...

Damn Pierini, why can't you write like that?

Macky said...

Mr. Clark demonstrates the sort of courage that heroes are made of.
No medals or titles, no ceremonies with speeches, just quiet in-the-background dogged grit that largely goes unnoticed in a busy everyday world.

Pierini defines middle-age as ending when those of us who are fortunate enough turn 70, and as a respected numbers man, Pierini's definition MUST be taken as gospel.

May I make an exception in Mr. Clarks case however, because with his fine attitude which should serve as an inspiration to us all, I have a strong suspicion that he will never leave his middle age until his Departure Date.