Feb 16, 2004

stop me if you think you've heard this one before

I was perusing through the book store the other day and was hit by the picture on the front of a magazine I had never heard of. The cover had a picture of Morrissey (Sorry I can't remember the name of the magazine). You know... of The Smiths fame. What was shocking was how old he looked. I'm often struck by famous people, usually rock stars because they fade so easily from the limelight, that pop into the news at a later date looking so much different and older than they did when I paid attention to them. Think James Brown or Nick Lowe. In this magazine picture Morrissey had grey hair around his sideburns and his hair had a little less gleam to it (maybe less pomade these days). Usually I just think, 'boy that guy as gotten old'. But Morrissey is someone who I paid a lot of attention to when I was clearly a young lad. He's still a lot older than I am - born in 1959 - but nevertheless it drove home that whole getting old aspect of life that hits you around my age (35).

I don't consider myself a vain person. I don't check myself in the mirror. I try to keep fit and trim but I'm not obsessed about it. But growing old does not seem like an attractive process. I'm less worried about the vanity aspects as I am about the fitness aspects. As I looked at that photograph I wondered what it would be like the day I no longer could really run or jump or exert myself physically. I expect I'll look back at when I could and wonder why I didn't run more or play more sports. And then a quiet realization will enter me that it's not worth dwelling on these things. But I'm not old right now and I can still run and jump and so I can do something about this.

Reminds me of the 'rocking chair' game I used to play when I was in my 20's. It's my version of What Would Jesus Do? When I'm 80 and sitting in a rocking chair am I going to regret anything in my life. Will I regret who I married? Will I regret not working or trying harder on something? Will I regret something I said to someone? Because the regrets I do have in my life right now are the most painful things I have to live with. Which by any measure means I have had an easy life. And indeed I have. Still all things are relative and that's my particular piece of baggage in life. So I better deal with this potential for regret now. Man I have to hit the gym. Tomorrow.

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