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“What are some things you’re not able to tolerate as you get older?”

May 8, 2018

I’ve been answering a lot of questions on quora.com lately. Today, I answered the question you see in the title..

I’m 45, and not happy about it. Here are some things that I have difficulty with:

Physical things:

A few things I like least: I started going bald in my 30’s. I’ve got that classic horse shoe baldness shape. I feel like I’m wearing half a hat, and sometimes just shave off all the hair on my head.

I’m not sure which look is better for me. Complete baldness feels better, but requires more effort – shaving my head every other day.. I get tired of that. I’m letting the stubble stay on my head right now.

More hair in my ears and nose than before – yeah, that’s fun.

At least I like that my mustache and goatee (which I keep short.. I don’t believe in being trendy, and am not a “lumbersexual”) have gone grey. Makes me look distinguished, and not just old, I hope.

I now should be wearing trifocal glasses, but didn’t get them. Those lenses make some things out of focus. Also, trifocals are more expensive than regular glasses.

I used to just need glasses to see far away, but I’m losing my near vision as well. To read fine print, like on an ingredients label (I cook a lot, and try to be careful about what I eat- most of the time), I just flip my glasses up to my forehead, and hold what I’m trying to read closer to my eyes. I do this with my phone sometimes. I also do this sometimes when reading books, instead of slipping reading glasses over my regular glasses.

Back pain is not fun. I can’t sit down for long periods of time anymore. But sitting down for long periods of time is not good for anyone. I have a standing desk on top of my regular desk, and use this almost all the time. It is adjustable, and I can sit down when I want. Paid $150 for it. Money very well spent.

My feet get sore more often, and I can’t walk as far, even with good shoes. But I can still go on short hikes, and am grateful to be able to walk at all.

(It is important to point out that many folks my age and older are in better shape than I am, but also, many are in worse shape, and some of my contemporaries have already passed on, due to living destructive lifestyles).

Wrinkles are not great. I’ve got worry lines all over my forehead.

My metabolism has slowed a LOT. It is tougher to lose weight now. This REALLY sucks. I’ve been trying for awhile to lose weight, and, unlike 10 years ago, am not making much progress. I was once able to burn weight off faster, and without changing my eating habits – just by exercising more. Doesn’t work that way now.


Aging parents:

I care about my parents a lot, and worry about them. They are both in their early 70’s, and not in the best of health. I help them by cooking, cleaning the house, doing some yard work, running errands, etc. It’s really tough to see my parents getting older and dealing with health problems they didn’t have when they were younger.


Technology:

I like some aspects of modern technology, but feel strange because science fiction is, and has been becoming, science fact.

Do we really want to live in a world like that depicted in such films as “Ghost in the Shell” (either the animated or live action version – you choose – I liked both) or “Ready Player One,” or “The Matrix?”

I’m afraid of people getting hooked on virtual reality devices and VERY afraid of artificial intelligence.


Dating:

I haven’t bothered in awhile. Most available women my age are divorced (some multiple times) and many have multiple children, who are likely in high school, and some who are in college.

Some divorced women are great, and really worth dating. But, I don’t want to deal with ex-husband drama, or grown or somewhat grown kid drama.

Another thing that is frustrating: I continue to be attracted to women in their 20’s, who are far too young for me. No hope at all of dating women that age anymore. I’m not a member of The Rolling Stones.. so..

Well, to be honest, it would really feel weird dating a woman 20 years younger than I am. That would just make me feel old. And I already feel that way. But maybe I’d make an exception for a 25 year old who I really got along with, and who, for some strange reason I cannot fathom, would want to date me. I’m a great guy in many ways, but I’m 45.

Why else can dating be so frustrating? The women I’ve met on a regular online dating site have tended to want to sleep with me on the second date (or first date, and I’m not particularly attractive). I’m old fashioned. I don’t rush into sex. But so many women these days want to do just that.

Lastly, it seems so many women are radical, pink hat wearing (these hats are meant to symbolize vaginas – yeah – classy hats.. I don’t go around wearing a hat with a foam dick and balls attached to it) ultra-liberal feminist types. I am only somewhat liberal, and can’t handle shrieking hardcore progressive women who constantly rant about LGBT rights and abortion. And how bad males are, especially white males.


Society:

Society has gone mad, compared to how it used to be when I was younger. That was before the incredibly liberal media blitz (gay this and transgender that and let’s have a parade and an LGBT character on almost every damn show – some gay and lesbian characters here and there – I’m fine with that, but so often, I feel like I’m being preached to) and political correctness insanity that has been going on since the year 2000 or so.

LGBT – no, I am not adding the “Q.” How many more letters do these people need? They will run out eventually.

I’m still (mostly) tolerant of LGBT people, and believe in keeping gay marriage legal, but I’m Sick to Death of hearing about LGBT issues all the time in the media, and being told what to think. You have your right to marry, and the media now supports you, so could you please shut up and just live and let live? And quit bothering the bakers and wedding photographers. There are other bakers and wedding photographers out there who would be THRILLED to have your business. That’s how I feel, anyway.

I used to be a huge fan of NPR, but hardly listen to that station anymore. (I’m somewhat liberal, so I don’t ever listen to conservative talk radio). NPR should be called National Progressive Radio. I’m not a progressive, I’m a moderate. (Sometimes, NPR is still great, though).

And what is with all this gender identity nonsense? There are two genders. TWO. And just because you are a man who feels like a woman or a woman who feels like a man, doesn’t mean you are what you feel like! There is such a thing as objective reality, no matter how many people wish to deny it in any or all of its forms.

The younger generation really does seem to be incredibly lazy, overly liberal, and has a strong sense of entitlement. I blame teachers, the media, and parents who are my age for this. But, yes, there are many awesome exceptions – great young people who don’t fit the negative millennial stereotype. My brother’s kids are pretty good people, and so are many others their age.

(Do I have kids? No. Thank goodness for that!)


Politics:

The parties have both become fractured and radical. I am not a fan of either political party.

Back in the ‘80’s, the Democrats and Republicans still got along with each other somewhat. The animosity started in the ‘90’s, but got a LOT worse. Liberals are too liberal for me, and many conservatives are too conservative.

I could not stand either Hillary or Trump, but Trump scared me just a little more, so I voted for Hillary. But I figured we were screwed either way. I wanted to have a chance to vote for John Kasich, who, although a bit too conservative for me, was obviously the best qualified candidate on either side. But he didn’t “pop” on TV.

Bernie Sanders? Not a serious candidate. (Ok, neither were Hillary or Trump, or most of the others). I don’t know how so many people believe it is possible to, without using violence, severely tax the rich and redistribute their wealth. The most wealthy can hire the best tax lawyers, and find the loopholes in any tax laws, find tax shelters, etc.

History has shown us the only way to radically redistribute wealth is by use of force. That didn’t exactly go well for the millions upon millions of people who died while living under the control of Stalin, Mao, etc.

Yes, soft socialism can and does work, somewhat, but Bernie’s plan to radically tax the rich without use of force was doomed to fail.

And “free” community college and “free” healthcare – is NOT FREE !! The middle and working classes would be severely taxed for these programs. Why is this so hard to understand?


Music:

Since the era of Britney Spears and the boy bands, popular, mainstream music has gotten SO much worse. There have been a few bands and singers that have been good or better (Lorde’s first full-length album, “Pure Heroine,” sounded like an indie album recorded on a laptop, but that was partially why it was so awesome – I don’t know how she got famous – too original for the mainstream, but a miracle happened), and Adele is very talented, but for the most part, I can’t stand mainstream music from the last 18 years or so, and it started going bad even before then.

I am incredibly blessed to have discovered many relatively unknown bands and solo artists, some of whom have been recording since the ‘90’s. Among my favorites are: Hooverphonic – their albums with their first two singers, School of Seven Bells, M83, Lacuna Coil, Royksopp, Bjork, Zero 7, Sarah Longfield, and the first album, called “The Colourless Sunrise,” by Prospekt – the band name is spelled with a “k” on purpose. It’s a tragedy that Prospekt has a different singer now, but I will always be grateful for their first album – an unusual prog/technical/djent metal masterpiece.

I sometimes spend many hours online searching for music I will like. And I am also grateful for much popular music from the ‘60’s through the ‘90’s, and for jazz from earlier years up to now. Watch the Ken Burns Jazz documentary series. It is fantastic.


TV:

I don’t think most people realize that watching shows with a lot of graphic sex and violence is not healthy.

This is especially true if there is a scene of graphic violence that occurs right after a scene of graphic sex. Even worse if the two are combined, such as a rape scene. Simulated rape has even become a form of entertainment on many shows.

Why is watching this bad? The mind gets excited by sex, then excited by violence right away. So sex and violence are linked together in the mind as being exciting. Most folks who watch this stuff will not become rapists, but some will, and this contributes to what people are calling “rape culture.”

Also, sexually graphic shows are a gateway drug to hardcore pornography, and hardcore pornography is addictive and destructive.

I believe in guarding my mind, so I not only stay away from porn, but watch very few shows produced by HBO and similar channels, avoid TV in general, except for some programs on PBS, and tend to watch only a few sitcoms that are either in syndication (reruns) or not on the air anymore. These shows, such as “Community,” “The Office (US),” “Parks and Recreation,” “Scrubs,” and two British comedies, “Black Books” and “Outnumbered” I get on DVD, or watch on streaming services.

Guard your mind, people.


Religion:

As I got older, I was less and less able to tolerate Christianity. I’m not saying that Christianity, or any religion, is inherently bad. I’m just too rational, I guess. My mind lost the ability to believe.

After I stopped practicing Christianity, I studied Buddhism off and on for years – enough to come to the conclusion that I’m not a Buddhist.

I also spent time with a very wise Wiccan priest. A truly great human being who died last year at age 50 (cancer). I learned a lot from him, and some from others in a little Wiccan group, but I did not become Wiccan either. I am just not capable of being religious. I don’t like being this way – makes for a lonely, spiritually unfulfilled life, but I cannot help it.

I still have friends who are Christian, Buddhist, and Wiccan. I’ve also spent time with people of other faiths, when I was part of a college international club, and when I tutored ESL for many years.

People who share some of the moral principles I have tend to be religious, and almost all the greatest women I’ve met have been Christians (either Protestant or Catholic). Some I’ve met long after I’ve stopped practicing any religion. Very frustrating.


Yes, for me, getting older has been damn hard.

 

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