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XLIX. How bout dat?

I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers and walk upon the beach, and hear the mermaids singing each to each …
T S Eliot

Meh. 49. Big deal.Just a number, right?

I still feel 29 on most days. Guess I’m lucky.




As I get older, there are these things I am becoming really bitchy about…

As I approach the down side of my 40’s, I find that many of my attitudes toward certain things are becoming more resolute. It used to be that that I would shrug off most things that annoyed me or ran counter to my way of thinking with a “whatever”. I still consider myself to be fairly flexible and open to different points of view. But, more and more I am finding myself getting more pissed off than usual about some things.

  • My political and social views have become very well established. I have belonged to all three of the major federal parties – yes, even the PC’s briefly back in the early 1980’s…they were so different from the ReformCons. They would actually listen to an opposing view, debate it and agree to disagree. Unlike the Harperites, who just shout at those who disagree with their version of things. And launch attack ads. They are very American that way. But in the past ten years or so, I have found myself less and less patient with those that tend to the right, politically or socially. I still hold onto enough civility to try to debate those who counter my arguments, but my patience grows thinner a helluva lot quicker.
  • I also have less patience with zealots on the left. One of the reasons I left the NDP was the “all or nothing” attitude. To be truly accepted into the party, it wasn’t only required that you buy into the political beliefs of the Left, but ALL of the social ones as well.
  • Here in Canada, it’s ZED, not ZEE!!! If you want to say zee, move to the U.S., dammit!!!
  • Speaking of Americanizations, it’s a hockey sweater, not a jersey. Baseball has jerseys as does football (both types). But with hockey, it’s a sweater. And that place you use to change into and out of your hockey gear, it’s a dressing room, NOT a locker room!
  • Have your damn pass or tickets ready for the driver before boarding the bus and do NOT waste my precious time rifling through your bag or pockets!
  • Big companies who send me their bills via the post office. Do NOT stuff them with all kinds of stuff that I am not remotely interested in! I have gone to electronic billing for many of my accounts but this option is not available everywhere. Make them available!!
  • Seniors! Why must you take so long paying for everything? Do you think that because you suffered through the Depression, WW II or the Cuban Missile Crisis that you have the inherent right to take 5 minutes of my life away while you count out ever last fricking penny???? Learn how to use a debit card!!!
  • Why have all of the mainstream media news outlets fired their proofreaders? Attention to detail is an important part of my job and it used to be something I could count on in the better news outlets. But no!! Even the venerable Globe and Mail, which I could count on being precise to a fault is getting lazy and letting spelling and grammatical checks fall by the wayside.
  • Religion! I am becoming more and more firmly of the opinion that this is a root cause of all that is hurtful and evil in the world! Not your garden-variety believer, mind you, but those fire and brimstone, we’re ll going to hell, if you ain’t with us, yer against us type. Evangelicals and fundamentalists of ANY religion fall into this net.


Well, so much for procreating…

Just dismantled my last crib and replaced it with a bed.

Yet, in 1979 if you would have told me that by the time I hit my mid-40’s, I woulda spawned 3 mini-me’s… well, I woulda told ya you were on a sweet herb.

It’s a bit sad. That’s it. No more babies. No more cribs. No more.

Great in a big way, but very much a reminder of my own mortality in another.

But he had a big, big smile on face when he lay down in his “big boy’s bed” tonight. And that, my friends, makes parenthood, however finite, worth every moment.


What is middle age?

Middle age – I have never quite understood where that begins and ends. The term is often used to denote the years between, say, 45 and 60. Or 40 and 55.

But if it is a term that is supposed to denote the “middle” of one’s life, then, given modern life expectancies, anything older than 40 or so is a little unrealistic. I seriously doubt that most of us envision seeing our 90th or 100 birthday cake – unless it is served by ol’ Mr. Death.


So, if not a temporal term, what does “middle aged” mean?

  • It has a physical connotation.

Many of us note that, upon reaching our 40’s, the girth of our “middles” becomes much harder to predict or control. One’s belt size increases by leaps and bounds if left unchecked. And even those who are saintly about their diets and have an exercise regime that would make a UFC fighter blush still struggle to keep the inches off their torso.

In the past month, I have made a real effort to watch what I eat. Yeah, right – I watch that bagel go from the platter to my gaping yaw. But I have been hitting the gym for an hour FOUR TIMES A WEEK! True, I have seen a bit of progress and my biceps are tighter than they’ve been in years. But I’m still in my size 38 jeans and feel that I’m about 25 pounds over what I should be. Sigh.

And I find that my travails are not dissimilar from others of my vintage.

Unless you’re one of those freaks with the metabolism of the Tasmanian Devil who can eat all you want and do zero exercise and STILL fit into your size 32’s. Yeah. I hate you all! You suck.

  • You are in the middle of your career. Or the upper middle if you’ve kept your nose clean.

By the time we hit 45 or so, many of us have a pretty good idea about where we want to spend the next 15 or 20 working years. No harm in staying at the position and the level that you currently occupy – but some see the brass ring and throw their considerable weight into grasping that damned thing and riding it off to the world of executive washrooms and really boring meetings about stuff like “strategizing” and “enriching competencies”.

In the public service, you can move from one of the working level classifications to be an “EX”… standing for Executive. Or Exhausting. I’m not sure which is true.

And in the PS, there are no perqs associated with being an EX. MUCH more work with marginally better pay. Yet, if ou have passed those middle years and have not jumped to that exalted state, well – ya probably won’t get there in this lifetime.

  • Your opinions become more “middle of the road”.

I know a lot of middle-agers like this. They have mellowed. More grey than black or white. More white bread than multigrain. More Julia Roberts than that chick from L.A. Ink.


More – well, you get the picture.

Happily – I’m not like this and seriously doubt I will ever be.

This middle-aged guy is gonna stay on the upslope as long as he can. I don’t like the notion of becoming something I despised as a teen. Though that is likely already too late.

Well, I don’t think any of the above is what I would consider to be “middle-aged”. For me, it is a state of mind rather than a set of years, the size of your waistline, the state of your career or your tendency to sell out to “the man”. I despise the thought of getting old. I don’t even really like old folks. They can’t drive worth a crap and they often stink to high heaven as they run around in those motorised scooters.


Me, I’m staying generic – no age applicable. And until my kids put me on an ice floe, that’s where I’ll stay, thank-you very much!

Hmm, maybe it’s time for another tattoo?


Two score and six

Happy Birthday to me!

Here’s a secret that I can share with everyone.

All my life I’ve been petrified of hitting my TRULY mid 40’s.  Don’t think I’ve ever told anyone that before. But it’s true. Here’s why.

When I was a little kid, I was always told that my Mom’s Dad died when he was 46. And I was told that I was a lot like my Grandpa. Put together the logic of a 9 year old and do the math.

As a teen, I thought I would that the Beatles woulda reunited, blonds would learn to like me and I would change the world before I was 21.

As a 20-something I really believed that the Leafs woulda won the Cup at least a half dozen times by the time I reached my mid-30’s.

In my mid 30’s, I hoped at the very least that I would be an MP by the time I hit 46 or so.

But then again, how bad is it? Really.

Torii showed up when I was 30. Wonder….

When I hit 41 – I became a Dad again. Amazing.

Turning 44 – Owen.Wow.

And I am now in the mindset of not someone looking at an age as a deadline or a target, but rather as a milepost. C’mon, I’m the luckiest guy in the world. Forty-Six? Snap out of it dude!

You got it made.

But, uh, I’m still waiting for the flying cars?