Oh to be young, again?

I’ve discovered something of the human condition in recent times. At 52 things get sprained, pulled or broken so much easier. I suppose I knew this was coming but nothing actually prepared me for it. I think lockdown has accelerated this effect too, I couldn’t keep to the exercise regime I was so enthusiastic about early on and snacking became a nasty habit, so I’m at a physical low of sorts.

But it’s not really that so much as the I had warnings that this would come, old seemed so far away as to be an impossibility when I was under 40 so I didn’t listen, do any of us?
Be prepared physically they said, I did, I stayed active, so I got lots of daft little injuries that would later come back to haunt me.
Eat better they said, I did, then had a donut after it.
Save for your retirement they said, so I did, when can I cash my pension in to clear my mortgage?
Wait till you have children and settle down they said. Well, that’s another story isn’t it.

I find myself being my dad when I tell Holly stuff, but I might as well be the 40mph sign at Taynuilt, she just doesn’t see it. I know she’ll look back and one day and think. “Oh, he was right…”. I do exactly that a lot now. Dammit man.

My mind is as active as it ever was, but now fueled by the content I’ve packed into it. I’m full of enthusiasm and mental energy but when I get in the driving seat and turn the key, so many warning lights come on.

Youth is wasted on the young? Maybe, but burning that energy in a carefree blur is an irreplaceable joy and I’d hate to go back and turn my volume down.
I guess every time of life has it’s light and shade, there’s never a perfect time.
That’s rubbish actually, I’ve had so many perfect times.

Maybe it’s simply making as many days count as you can whenever they are, maybe that’s why it’s all so hard just now, the days are slipping past us.
Is that harder for me at 52 because I know what I’m missing or for someone at 25 who’s just discovering?
Both, you can’t make memories and anecdotes to annoy the next generation with once you’re old yourself if you’re stuck in lockdown. So it’s not just the horrors of right now that Covid has brought, it’s shaping the future too in intangible ways.

We’re not in a political crisis, we’re in a human crisis of health both physical and mental. Young folks might be able to physically withstand the virus better but it’s continued existence is shaping their perspective and future.

Wear a mask, wash your hands. Quite literally, think of the young folks.

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