The other day, my oldest son shared something with me from the back seat of the car.
"Dad, did you know they have this gel called Touch of Grey? But you don't need it because you already have it."
I thanked him, and then I listened to him continue to tell me that it meant that I had both energy and experience. So then I thanked him again.
But instead of taking a spin on what kids actually understand from adult-focused advertising, I think I would rather just share some points on getting older.
1. Take Ibuprofen.
I do a fair amount of driving and so I take it whenever I'm going to be in the car for very long. Not so much for pain, but I've found it keeps me from getting out of the car at a 45 degree angle. Which just looks bad. Do check with your doctor first.
Not a big exercise person and weight has never been an issue for me, but once in the morning and once in the afternoon around the block during my workday actually help out quite a bit on the days when I'm behind the desk. It takes off the tension, and tension makes me feel old.
Not as good as I would like to be but I manage at least six hours a night. I would like to do eight. I used to live off only four, but not any more; I just get too tired and it jacks with me the next day. Even if I have a lot to do, I'm learning not to fight it. Fighting makes me feel old too.
4. Eat healthy.
I eat right, generally, depending on your point of view. I could do better but I try to have a balance. I follow my food groups and I take my multivitamin. I enjoy an occasional bratwurst.
5. Get check-ups.
I go regularly — eyes every two years, teeth every six months. I get a physical with my family doctor every five years, but I go to him more often just due to the once-or-twice-a-year cold. I get my blood tests and cancer screens done. My dad passed from cancer and I'd like to at least get a heads up if my number gets called on that one.
6. Accept the inevitable.
I'm 42. Age is gonna happen. Some of it already has. And I'm at a point where I find I just do best being where I'm at. So I take it as it comes, and just hope I'm not doing anything to make it come quicker than it has to. Again, fighting it only makes me feel older.
As for my hair, mine is pretty much silver now on the sides. The other day I looked in the mirror and I thought my hair was lightening, but no, it was just the gray on the sides creeping up on me. But I'm OK with that. Mostly I'm just glad I still get to have it.
I don't know if life has turned me gray, but when I look in the mirror, I get a sense of where I've been. Almost like a scrapbook. Not literally, of course, but in a more sensible sort of way, like wrinkles. I feel like I've earned them all, just like George Clooney.