On being older...life is so much better now than in my youth

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    Jan 01, 2014 4:58 PM GMT
    So, as 2014 rolled in it occurred to me that my life at 50 is far better than when I was in my twenties. In my twenties, I was happy but dreaded turning 30. How laughable that seems to me now. When I was 22 I felt detached from the things I wanted in life. At 50 I feel blessed with good health, money, and friends. I have enjoyed two decades long relationships and learned much from each of them. After attending a party last night I realized that us older guys have something that I wouldn't trade for anything....wisdom. When younger, prettier dudes start talk'n shit...we just smile, admire...and thank God we have moved beyond it all. Happy New Year RJ'rs!
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Jan 01, 2014 5:47 PM GMT
    In general I agree.

    We might as well try and accept whatever phase of our lives we happen to be in, though. For sure there is no need to dread getting older, especially when we're still young! However, as I turn 66 this month and find myself 4 years away from 70 and have watched my body age (not always gracefully) for decades, I can't help but feel a certain amount of dread. Yes, for sure working out and eating right and getting plenty of rest, etc., helps keep my body functioning and in shape. But aging, although it can be slowed and even reversed to a certain extent, is inevitable. There is nothing much I can do (or am willing to do) about my wacky eyebrows, hair growing out of my ears, age spots, and many other minor things that, taken together, make me look and feel the age I am. Worse, these things are going to increase the older I get.

    Being on the other side of the "looking forward to my life" (even if there is some fear or dread involved) bell curve, gives one a completely different perspective. I call it the BTDT (been there, done that) perspective. Where many much younger guys are looking to find relationships, for me it is BTDT--and much to my surprise, outlived them both. True, it is conceivable that a new relationship may lie in my future. For some things it is never too late. But I find myself 'ok' with being alone. I don't feel lonely as a general rule although I do miss cuddling with my lover when I go to sleep at night (more so than sex). I also know from experience that, although they're rewarding, relationships take time and work, a willingness to change and grow. At this point in time (this may change) I don't see myself as 'open' to the possibility. I'm not ready, not available, to give my heart to another man the way I have in the past.

    There are many other things, too, I won't bore you all with.

    Suffice it to say that aging gracefully is an art I'm learning and not always, well, gracefully. To a certain extent I have to fight against it, keeping myself motivated to go to the gym or not eat unhealthy things, while embracing realistic expectations. Its a balancing act, accepting myself on the one hand while trying to improve what I can on the other.

    One thing I do know, I'm happy to have found RJ. Overall I feel accepted here despite my age and not really being a jock. That will have to be next lifetime. ;-)
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    Jan 02, 2014 12:04 AM GMT

    I feel old honestly inside. I hate and dislike when people keep telling me "You are young" icon_rolleyes.gif + icon_mad.gif

    Anyway I feel life like a restart, just that the itinerary this time is different and it goes all over again. I wouldn't be surprise when I'm your age I would actually say the same thing.


    Oh yes, Happy New You. icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 02, 2014 12:11 AM GMT
    Before I went through the trials and tribulations of my youth again, I'd kill myself.
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    Jan 02, 2014 12:13 AM GMT
    "When younger, prettier dudes start talk'n shit...we just smile, admire............"

    Well i 'd like to do more than 'admire'.. so all younger dudes, I appreciate you guys....icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 02, 2014 12:14 AM GMT
    When I look back and some adults said that school days are the best days of your life, it makes me wonder what they were on. No independence, no alcohol, no love life...just crazy
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Jan 02, 2014 12:19 AM GMT
    Ohno saidWhen I look back and some adults said that school days are the best days of your life, it makes me wonder what they were on. No independence, no alcohol, no love life...just crazy

    Jeebus, where'd you go to school? 0.o
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    Jan 02, 2014 1:05 AM GMT
    MikeW said
    Ohno saidWhen I look back and some adults said that school days are the best days of your life, it makes me wonder what they were on. No independence, no alcohol, no love life...just crazy

    Jeebus, where'd you go to school? 0.o


    Oh I had alcohol from 14, just not as much as now. And I had a girlfriend for a short time but I prefer to pretend that didn't happen haha.
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    Jan 02, 2014 1:40 AM GMT
    I am in My mid 40's

    I just had a physical and My Doctor commented that I am in excellent condition as a young man should be.

    I laughed and pointed out that I am NOT a "young" Man.

    He laughed and pointed out that medically speaking I AM a "young" Man

    I recently dated a Man in His mid 80's

    To HIM - I am a kid...

    I have a friend on RJ who told Me His family would hate Me because I am 45.

    It is all relevant to where You are.

    Experiences count.

    Numbers are irrelevant.

    LIVE!!!!!!!!!!

    Stop counting!
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    Jan 02, 2014 1:49 AM GMT
    Cash saidI have a friend on RJ who told Me His family would hate Me because I am 45.

    My family would say I was robbing the cradle.
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    Jan 02, 2014 3:09 AM GMT
    I've heard that thinking life gets better as you get older is often one of the first signs of early onset dementia. You guys might want to have that checked.
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    Jan 02, 2014 3:53 AM GMT
    MikeW saidIn general I agree.

    We might as well try and accept whatever phase of our lives we happen to be in, though. For sure there is no need to dread getting older, especially when we're still young! However, as I turn 66 this month and find myself 4 years away from 70 and have watched my body age (not always gracefully) for decades, I can't help but feel a certain amount of dread. Yes, for sure working out and eating right and getting plenty of rest, etc., helps keep my body functioning and in shape. But aging, although it can be slowed and even reversed to a certain extent, is inevitable. There is nothing much I can do (or am willing to do) about my wacky eyebrows, hair growing out of my ears, age spots, and many other minor things that, taken together, make me look and feel the age I am. Worse, these things are going to increase the older I get.

    Being on the other side of the "looking forward to my life" (even if there is some fear or dread involved) bell curve, gives one a completely different perspective. I call it the BTDT (been there, done that) perspective. Where many much younger guys are looking to find relationships, for me it is BTDT--and much to my surprise, outlived them both. True, it is conceivable that a new relationship may lie in my future. For some things it is never too late. But I find myself 'ok' with being alone. I don't feel lonely as a general rule although I do miss cuddling with my lover when I go to sleep at night (more so than sex). I also know from experience that, although they're rewarding, relationships take time and work, a willingness to change and grow. At this point in time (this may change) I don't see myself as 'open' to the possibility. I'm not ready, not available, to give my heart to another man the way I have in the past.

    There are many other things, too, I won't bore you all with.

    Suffice it to say that aging gracefully is an art I'm learning and not always, well, gracefully. To a certain extent I have to fight against it, keeping myself motivated to go to the gym or not eat unhealthy things, while embracing realistic expectations. Its a balancing act, accepting myself on the one hand while trying to improve what I can on the other.

    One thing I do know, I'm happy to have found RJ. Overall I feel accepted here despite my age and not really being a jock. That will have to be next lifetime. ;-)


    Really interesting. Thanks a lot for sharing your wisdom MikeW.
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    Jan 02, 2014 8:54 AM GMT
    Life probably is better now than in my early twenties - before I came out. I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now. But really, just about all my years have been good. And they are what they are. It's life. The hard part was the plague years, when so many of my friends and lovers died of AIDS. I'm happy, and enjoy my friends and partner. Life is slightly more relaxed. I do realize now that I'm mortal. When I ski through the trees, I go a bit slower, and am a bit more careful about taking air over jumps than 20 years ago, and might even start wearing a helmet, but I take life as it comes. I still like looking at hot men, and if I were to lose my partner, would undoubtedly play with some of them. I have learned a lot, and am still learning.
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    Jan 02, 2014 9:11 AM GMT
    The vigor of my mind remains, and age doesn't seem to impair me at all. And while I continue to develop and grow as a person, I've never changed a thing about myself, and my dispositions, my character, my personality, and whatever else that makes me, me, remains especially unchanged to anyone that would have known me in my 4th grade, my senior year of high school, etc, etc.
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    Jan 02, 2014 9:12 AM GMT
    If I knew then what I know now . . . but life has a way of imparting wisdom through experience, error, and pain. I appreciate the joys of life more now, and handle adversity better.
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    Jan 02, 2014 9:24 AM GMT
    strongbull saidIf I knew then what I know now . . . but life has a way of imparting wisdom through experience, error, and pain. I appreciate the joys of life more now, and handle adversity better.


    Well for myself, I've added seemingly impossible aspirations, and if I fail to meet them, I won't necessarily feel bad about myself or undergo pain of any kind, but that to a degree comes from the full realization that I know I have the ability, confidence and dispositions required to attain such "seemingly impossible aspirations". I then readily sympathize with your process of pain and adversity in a life that aims to appreciate a few joys, because as it is, and said in a simple, plain and direct way, you are simply not me. (Sorry for the offense).
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    Jan 02, 2014 3:40 PM GMT
    I find ageing to be too limiting. I'd rather keep my options open. It's not as if you can say about ageing: eh, I can take it or leave it.
  • starboard5

    Posts: 969

    Jan 02, 2014 4:52 PM GMT
    Responses to this thread are necessarily going to be highly individual.

    There are days (many) when I hate being old.
    For me, this is largely the result of having missed so much of my youth while I took care of invalid parents. I got a lot out of it, but it cost me something, too, and I feel it now that I'm older.

    Like Antijock, I dislike the limitations. I can't do all the things I'd like to do (in the gym and practicing yoga) and my relationship possibilities are hugely diminished.

    But, on the other hand, there are compensations. Financially, I'm in decent shape. I have a good job, with benefits and a house that's paid for. No car payments, no credit card debt. It's nice.

    I also think that I'm much more comfortable with myself now than I ever was in twenties. My sister said once, "You get to a place in your life where you say, 'This is it; this is what you get. If you don't like it, get in line.'" Absolutely agree. I still have insecurities, but they influence me far less than they did when I was young. I know my own measure much better now than when I was young and the opinion of others doesn't worry me. As long as I know that my behavior has been correct, you can think whatever you like about me. Don't care.

    So, like so many things in life, getting older is a trade off of sorts.
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    Jan 02, 2014 5:22 PM GMT
    I do agree , at 57 years old , i have 37 more years of acquired wisdom than when i was 20 , and that suits me just fine . I am totally happy to have exchanged some wrinkles for wisdom .icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 02, 2014 5:48 PM GMT
    FloridaCarFan saidSo, as 2014 rolled in it occurred to me that my life at 50 is far better than when I was in my twenties. In my twenties, I was happy but dreaded turning 30. How laughable that seems to me now. When I was 22 I felt detached from the things I wanted in life. At 50 I feel blessed with good health, money, and friends. I have enjoyed two decades long relationships and learned much from each of them. After attending a party last night I realized that us older guys have something that I wouldn't trade for anything....wisdom. When younger, prettier dudes start talk'n shit...we just smile, admire...and thank God we have moved beyond it all. Happy New Year RJ'rs!

    Wonderful observation.

    For myself, I tend to take the attitude that I am where I am. I can't move the calendar forward or back. And so I do my best to thrive where I'm planted.

    I change the things I can, and exploit the things I can't. Time & my age aren't going to change, and we only make ourselves miserable trying to have something we can't.

    What I do know is that I'm still happy. It's a different happiness than I had in my youth, when I was lively, fit, vital, doing new things. I regret not having been out, but I sadly missed that part, a consequence of my times and my ignorance.

    My only really miserable phase was my teens. Partly typical male growing-up angst and hormones at work, plus not knowing who I was, why I was so different & isolated from the other guys.

    But I still had interests, my motorcycling, outdoor camping, tennis, bicycling, swimming, fishing, mostly solitary things I could do on my own. And I have good memories of them.

    And then my military career. WOW, was that ever great! A Sergeant at 21 shortly after I joined, an Army Captain Company Commander still in my 20s. I loved every minute of it.

    So now I'm retired, have my husband, a modest home, our income secure for life. Our main job is to love each other, enjoy the rest of our lives, and to help others enjoy theirs.

    So again, I wouldn't describe my life today as better or worse than my youth, but different. And just as fun & wonderful. icon_biggrin.gif

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    Jan 02, 2014 5:50 PM GMT
    starboard5 saidSo, like so many things in life, getting older is a trade off of sorts.


    +1
  • 24hourguy

    Posts: 364

    Jan 02, 2014 5:56 PM GMT
    Much less unnecessary drama -Priceless!
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    Jan 02, 2014 6:50 PM GMT
    neffa said... I am totally happy to have exchanged some wrinkles for wisdom...


    I've no issues with that exchange. If only you could then cash in wisdom for sex, but by then the exchange rate of that transaction isn't always viable. So I write it off as a net loss and hope I'm credited on my taxes. (Is hooker a business expense or a charity deduct? Just kidding. I am saving up for my 80s, however!)

    Life'll tax ya and the payment is old age. It's the next challenge just when you thought you had it made.

    Life is a roller coaster. Think I'll coast. Think again.

    starboard5 said lots of good stuff


    I agree with a lot of what you've said. Especially where you agreed with me.

    The only thing I'd tweak in jest is that "if you don't like it," get out of line. That's when it helps to be a rebel with or without a clue.

    I'd agree with you especially where I don't relate so much to the notion of life getting better because I also found much satisfaction in my earlier years, both in the very good times and the very tough ones; just as I find both satisfaction in being older but also new challenges that make my earlier life seem easier, even if I thought them so tough at the time. Seems my perceptions move with me.

    Of course it's wonderful for those who did not enjoy their earlier years that life offers the opportunity to age away from that and into a better life.

    But I'd stress the importance of what you mentioned about behavior--not just about what life throws at us, but how we deal with it--to be able to look back, and even if everything completely fucked up, to be able to say "I did the right thing." And if you didn't (that's a general you, not you you), ya better start making amends now. Misdeeds age as regrets.

    If you try to fuck people over, as we see so many do, then your life will be shit. Should your self-awareness awaken as many do in older ages even as they might fail to awaken while younger, you will die with regrets. But if you try to do the right thing by others throughout your life or at least to awaken as early as you can manage, then even your mistakes, while they might be regrettable, won't rise to be regrets; rather, they'll just remain mistakes that everyone makes.

    You can come to terms with mistakes (if I could do it all over again, I'd make a whole different set of mistakes) but not with regrets. You can make a course correction but there are no take backs; make overs but no do overs. Not that the figurative Akashic records are sealed for the further figurative kundalini can burn through that, but life moves on and so must we.

    Often high is the price to one day die in peace.

    Peace
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    Jan 02, 2014 7:01 PM GMT
    I have the feeling that it's taking me a long time to mature, so I think my 30s will be amazing. Last year or so, i've already become a lot more mature, but still got some way to go. I still find it very difficult to express and/or talk about my feelings to others, but that's getting better. So only good things ahead as far as i'm concerned icon_cool.gif
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    Jan 03, 2014 1:15 AM GMT
    As I am older too, I love both the men and the women. Can please them both.

    My body speaks for itself

    Tommy