It’s Friday night and there are many things that I would rather be doing than sitting at home writing a blog post. I was going to use the excuse that it was too bitterly cold out to do anything else and that may still be true but I’ve also looked at the weather forecast and it looks like this might be as good as it gets until Tuesday or Wednesday.  If that’s the case, I might just want to get this done so that I can go have some fun before life gets any worse. In any case, yesterday deserves a blog post.

I woke yesterday to what may have been the coldest morning of the season. Maybe it wasn’t but I wouldn’t know. I usually don’t wake up before noon so all I know is that it was the coldest morning I had experienced. It was really cold and it was really early but I needed to take my daughter to her therapy appointment and I was determined to get her there. I’m usually willing to acquiesce to the weather but given how little time my daughter and I spend together, I wasn’t going to give in without a fight.

My biggest concern was whether my van would start. It’s been doing pretty well all winter but I know it doesn’t like starting when it is really cold. It did bitch and complain a little but eventually I got it started. I had given myself plenty of time just incase I had to make other plans so I let the van warm up while I went back inside. I have a feeling that was illegal but that’s the kind of criminal mastermind I am.

I picked up my daughter at eight o’clock which gave us plenty of time to get to Bloomington by nine. We did hit rush-hour that was heading into downtown so it was slow going for a few miles. I noticed at one point traffic had come to a complete stop. I hit the brakes but I was on glare ice. I started pumping and steering towards the shoulder but nothing was happening. I had given myself plenty of room between me and the big white cargo van in front of me. I kept hoping that I would catch pavement and able to stop but that hope quickly faded. I knew I was going to hit the van. I laid on the horn. I don’t know what I thought that would do but I felt like I owned the person in front of me some warning.

I was traveling at maybe ten miles per-hour at the point of impact but it was still a real crash. I’m just glad that the car behind me was either better able to handle the road conditions or driven by a more experienced driver. It could easily have been much worse. The driver of the white van and I pulled over to the side of the road and got out to assess the damage. I wasn’t even concerned about my van although I did later discover that the cover to my headlight was completely smashed. My main concern was that my daughter and the other driver were not injured. Luckily no one was hurt and the only damage to his van was that I cracked his bumper.

As far as car crashes go, this was pretty minor but it was the most serious accident that I have had with another vehicle. I’ve never been in the position of having to exchange insurance information and this situation didn’t go down that way either. The other driver was in a hurry to get to work so we just exchanged phone numbers. That’s a lot of trust that he put  in me and I hope I can live up to it. There is no doubt that this will be an expensive experience but in the long run it will probably be cheaper than going through insurance.

I hate cars. I hate driving and I really hate accidents. The worst accidents can ruin your life. A bad accident can ruin your week, month or year but even a minor accident can ruin your day. I still had a lot to do that day so I was determined not to let it get me down. Even with all that I still got my daughter to her appointment with plenty of time to spare. After that I dropped her off at school and headed to my friend’s house so I could watch her son while she went to work.

I had completely forgot about the accident when my left arm started hurting. I just blamed it on playing Nintendo Wii with the boy but I know now that it was a result of the crash. Nothing is broken and I’m sure that it will heal eventually but it is going to take some time. That is one of the downsides to aging. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the only downside. It just takes longer to heal.

The babysitter arrived at five and I left to pick up my daughter. She and two of her friends had gotten a ride to one of the girl’s houses after school. The three of them had decided to start taking belly dance lesson so I drove them all to the class. I hadn’t really planned on driving them all home afterwards but that’s the way it turned out. This is what being a parent of a teenager means. I’m grateful that I still have kids in my life who need their butt wiped but at my daughter’s age, my job is to facilitate their independence and their interaction with their peers. They don’t really need me.

Still, my daughter thanked me.

Her mother thanked me.

I thanked the fact that I still have a twenty year-old mini-van that got me through the day!

What’s in an age

I’m 46 years old. Like a 12 year old reading 17 magazine I look at people in their fifties and sixties with envy. Many of them are so cool!

At the same time I love the exuberance of youth. I have many friends in their twenties and I adore them. One of the greatest pieces of wisdom that my years have taught me is that growing old sucks and is a complete waste of time – don’t fucking do it!

I met a guy last night who was celebrating his 33rd birthday and feeling pretty old. He begged me to tell him that it gets better. I could honestly tell him that it most certainly does. I never felt older than I did when I was in my early thirties.

This guy was dealing with some physical deterioration and that is a normal part of aging which can’t be avoided, but can be mitigated. I still deal with some of the complications of an aging body but I’m also in the best shape of my life. I’m the strongest I’ve ever been, my weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate are perfect. Even my mental health is better than it has been in decades. All of this helps compensate for the fact that I’m not getting any younger.

I recently shaved off all my purple hair to let my natural color and beard grow out. Over the course of two weeks I completely changed my looks. The top of my head is almost completely bald and my hair is fifty to sixty percent gray. I got my first grey hair at twenty-four but that is beside the point.  The point is that for the first time in quite some time I was actually looking my age.

There is nothing wrong with looking your age but it is optional and I certainly don’t mind looking younger. I throw on a hat and a little “Just For Men” hair dye and I look ten years younger. I usually don’t play the “How old do you think I am?” game but it seemed to come up a lot yesterday. Guesses ranged from twenty-seven to thirty-eight (the older the guesser the closer they got).

The truth is I actually feel twenty-four and that is amazing. In my opinion it is the perfect age. It’s that point where you are old enough to know better but young enough not to care. Most people younger than twenty-four want to be older; those older, wish they were younger. I’m perfectly happy with my age but in a way I really am twenty-four. Twenty-four years ago, on Friday the Thirteenth of January, I nearly died. In many ways I started my life over on that day.  This is the year where I feel like I have fully come into my new life. This year has been all about knowing better but not caring and it has served me quite well.

The only thing I don’t understand is why in the hell do I still have acne?!? That just seems totally fucked up!!!

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