Is the experience of aging anything like you imagined?

I’m at mid-life, age 45.

Here is what I didn’t expect:

  1. I thought I would be invulnerable to aging in the sense that I would age very well—in great shape, full head of lightly peppered hair, etc. It didn’t work out that way. Instead, I am aging similar to how my father aged. Hair has thinned but not grey, and weight gain. I have been unable to reduce my prednisone levels due to very aggressive inflammatory arthritis, so this is likely a big factor.
  2. I didn’t expect both of my parents to be dead yet. I expected them to live normal lifespans. My mother died at 49 and my father at 67.
  3. I didn’t expect life to have given me so many beatings. I am not sure how I would have managed it had I know what was to come. That is why I wouldn’t want to know the future now. Because things could be the same, better, or worse.
  4. Today, strangely, I noticed my myopia went away, and I don’t need glasses anymore. That was one of the few benefits of aging.
  5. I feel like I became “the person I was meant to be” in full around 40. You reach an age where you have no more fucks to give. The bag is empty at 40. And you are set free. Forever.
  6. The challenge of age is to get through the losses, the tragedies, the humiliations and betrayals without becoming bitter. It is to never lose your sense of hate for injustice. When you have “accepted” things as they are, you have truly grown old.
  7. I am more focused on enjoying the present, and not so concentrated on the future. I can savor the moment far better.
  8. I don’t have the energy to go back to the beginning. I’m too tired.
  9. I can understand my father better each day, as I live each year he lived.
  10. I will never get over the death of my parents. Never.

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