You and I age differently

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When I was a young married person, we fought about child rearing and money. There was never enough money, but we fought about the little we had. But mostly, we fought about different styles of rearing children. My husband’s style involved saying things once, sticking to his word, following up with consequences, and we all went camping a lot.

My style, if it can be called a style, involved playing with the kids, having fun with the kids, taking them horseback riding, skating and swimming, camping and kayaking. We had great Otter Pop summers. I let them get away with quite a bit. My husband wasn’t impressed with my lackadaisical parenting. We had words. Arguments even. But I was tired, too tired to make the required effort, and they had a lot of energy. They didn’t run out, but I did.

What I notice now is people in their forties or fifties starting in on the aging wars. Some dive right into aging and enjoy the freedom of not worrying so much about their appearance.
If you are dating and you are over 45, here are things that might be good for you and your spouse to agree on:

1. Do you ever plan to retire?
2. If so, what does retirement look like?
3. How many more adventures do you plan to have in your life?
4. What kind of adventures?
5. Is sex still important to you?
6. If so, how much?
7. Do you like to go out or stay in?
8. If you go out, where and how often?
9. Do you think it’s worth spending time or money on opera, theatre, classical music or bowling, baseball or monster trucks? Is money important to you? Saving it? Or enjoying it>
10. Are you ready for the Big Sleep or do you find yourself more awake every day?

Here are my answers:
1. No, I never plan to retire.
2. What I hope for is to write and travel more and maybe teach a little less.
3. I want the rest of my life to be one big adventure after another.
4. Adventures like skiing, water skiing, parasailing, kayaking, travelling to Third World countries, climbing mountains in Africa, swimming with dolphins, climbing trees.
5. Whoa, that’s personal, but yes!
6. That’s also personal.
7. I like both. I love staying home some nights, but I like Musso and Franks and sushi and we are going to see Einstein on the Beach and I can’t wait.
8. I like to go out a couple times a week, but staying home is also so lovely.
9. Let’s see, I would like to go to a Dodger game, I can only afford opera rarely, I like theatre and I like the Bowl and the Master Chorale. Money obviously isn’t important to me: I’m a poet and a librettist, and I teach and work for a non profit.
10. I am more awake every day. I am not turning down everything. I am turning up the volume on everything. I am flying but not too close to the sun. There is no Big Sleep.

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Published in: on September 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. So you’re a Daedalus and not an Icarus…the creator with just the right amount of hubris!


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