Book Of Questions | If you were able to live to the age of 90...

If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the body or mind of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
— Book of Questions, Gregory Stock

I suppose my 53rd birthday is a pretty good time to consider this question.

Over the last couple of years, I have noticed my body aging. It’s more difficult to get down on the ground, and more difficult to get up. I’ve got aches and pains when I get up in the morning. I’ve noticed a reduction in my physical strength. I just can’t lift as much as I once could. It’s harder to open jars than it used to be. And although some of this change can be attributed to being in less than optimal physical shape…

There’s no denying it: I’m aging.

So, how do I answer the question?

I would really like to have that 30 year old body back. And I would continue to enjoy having it until 90. (I promise to take better care of it this time.) And I’m willing to be a senile old man with a 30 year old body. The retirement home will be loads of fun.

What can happen in a second?

A very young Michael Crawford sang "It Only Takes a Moment".

He was wrong. I've been in and out of love to varying intensities several times in my life and it's never happened in a moment -- neither the falling in nor falling out of love -- but the whole romantic idea is cool. Hearing this beautiful song in the musical Hello Dolly… well… it's a feel-good moment.

Perhaps that's what only takes a second: achieving a feel-good moment; sometimes even approaching an emotional orgasm.

A Big Bang got everything started. And we've been all about big bang moments ever since.

There are a few happy things that come to mind. In one second I can be delighted in seeing a baby smile. A cuddle from my dog can fill me with warmth in a second.

As a seriously introverted person, I’m leery of things that happen quickly. And unfortunately, my experience is that moments aren't always good. In fact, they aren't even usually good.

At my house…

In one second my wife can hurt my feelings.

In one second I can launch a verbal attack back at her.

In one second she can get really mad at me.

In one second I can become self righteous.

In one second I can become indignant.

I can be critical in one second.

In one second I can become impatient.

In one second she can dig her emotional defensive position and so can I.

It takes a lot longer than one second for us to get over these hurts.

Just the fact that the negatives seem to flow to this list easier than the positives tells me something about moments and probably tells you something about me

Sadness and hurt happen faster than joy. They also last longer.

On writing and blogging...

I say that I am writer who doesn't write. I feel the urge. I even feel the talent. But beyond the occasional well-worded letter to the editor or a just-right level of snarkiness/wit/intellect in a Facebook post, few things ever make it down on "paper."

I have a renewed commitment to write. It may be therapeutic in a sweaty, physical workout, no-pain-no-gain sort of way. I need it to be therapeutic.

I'm presented with several challenges:

  1. Taking the time to do it. It feels like a trip to the dentist office sometimes. It's a necessary evil but hardly relished and looked forward to.
  2. The nagging preoccupation to write well. It doesn't matter if a reader would say "Damn, the next Hemingway!" It matters if my thoughts and feelings get dealt with BY ME.
  3. Getting in touch with my thoughts and feelings and then being honest with myself and the page about them. This is not something that is easy for me to do.
  4. Finally, publishing them here. I know many things I write will not be pretty and may reveal things about myself and what I think about those around me. These are thoughts I am inclined to keep hidden.

Why not just keep a private journal?

I'm already adept at keeping my feelings hidden. I am the master of doing what I'm told to do or doing what I am expected to do. I've done it all my life. And now I pay for that.

It is only by getting to know the real me and not hiding that person that the therapy will be successful.