Over 40. Overrated.

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One of the continuing themes of this blog is I’m old.

I get it.

My back gets it.

My hearing (or lack of) gets it.

My eyesight (what’s left… especially at night) gets it.

If I didn’t understand, I would still have plenty of time to think about it on the days I wake up (for no apparent reason) at 4:30 am.

If you aren’t familiar with the Over 40 Challenges, let me explain.I'm Blind.  And Old.  And I'm Okay With It.  At Least That's What I Tell Myself.

Before your 40th birthday your body works.  You can count on it.  Very few aches and pains.  You sleep well.  Your vision and hearing are sharp.

You can run.  And jump.  You can walk without fear the next step off a curb will almost certainly result in a broken hip.

On the day you “celebrate” your 40th birthday this all changes.

Not the day before.  Not the day after.  On the exact day, 40 years after you were born, your body start to mummify.

Basically, you start dying.

And sadly, not a quick death.

A slow, painful one.

Activities you used to take for granted now require at least 20 minutes of stretching before you begin (yes, EVERY activity).

If you are younger than 40 years old, this blog will seem like the dithering thoughts of an old man.

Trust me, I speak the truth.

Old people used to try and convince me of what life would be like after 40, but I didn’t listen.

I thought they were fools.

All of their talk about watching what they ate so they didn’t gain 12 pounds after eating a cookie, falling asleep in front of the TV three minutes after a show starts, and being in constant pain because they sneezed the day before.

In my mind, they were weak.

After the age of 40, even the simplest activity is complicated.

Tying your shoes can cause back spasm.  Mowing the yard is an invitation to visit the chiropractor.

Playing any game may result in missing work for up to six weeks.

Basketball.  Tag.  Monopoly.  Petting the dog.  They all put your health at risk.

I’ve come to grips with the idea… I’m old.

I’m okay with the fact the next 40 years of my life aren’t going to be pretty.

Luckily for me I will be asleep for part of this.  And when I’m not, I won’t be able to see or hear much of what’s going on around me.

But this doesn’t mean I need other people pointing out the fact I’m not as young as I used to be.

Or want to be.

This is why I dread going to the optometrist.

And it’s not because I’m blind.  I’ve been blind since the 4th grade, so this comes as no surprise to me.

Every year I get my eyes checked and since I turned 40 it’s the same song and dance.

I’m on year 3 of them looking at my file and the doctor always has the same reaction.

The head shake.

The “this doesn’t look good” head shake.

The “this doesn’t look good” head shake followed by a sigh.

The “this doesn’t look good” head shake followed by a sigh then me screaming “What!!!”

Same story different year.

The doctor always says “Now that your over 40, we may be looking at bifocals.”

Excuse me?


I’m pretty sure the doctor is looking at MY file, not OUR file.

Young punk.

He has no idea what he’s getting for his 40th birthday.

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10 Responses to “Over 40. Overrated.”

  1. Diane
    on Sep 12th, 2010
    @ 8:12 pm

    It’s terrible, isn’t it? I wear reading glasses over my contacts, and when I don’t have my contacts in, I need to take off my regular glasses to read. Any sitting that involves having my kees bent for any length of time results in me having to walk around (after the crane lifts me up) hunched over until I can straighten my legs. I wake up nightly at 1 and lay awake until about 4 or so. My memory is shot. Probably because I’m not sleeping. And I’m only 47. Can’t wait to see what happens when I turn 50!

  2. Diane
    on Sep 12th, 2010
    @ 8:15 pm

    *knees. Told you I can’t see.

  3. Pam Franklin
    on Sep 12th, 2010
    @ 8:31 pm

    Just wait until you pass 50. Then you get to have all matter of horrible things done to you so the doctors can tell you more terrible things. It really sucks.

  4. Bill
    on Sep 13th, 2010
    @ 6:56 am

    I’m with you my friend. 43 going on 103 it seems. I hobble & groan, I can’t hear anything (something my teenage boys take full advantage of. I’m like a toy to their friends. “Let’s see how many time I can say my dad’s name before he responds.”) I have the eyesight thing out of the way though (LASIK surgery was the best money I ever spent, I only wish I did it sooner.) I still pretend I am a bit of an athlete and officiate high school football, but I have noticed that I am no longer the guy running with the wide receivers, now I’m the guy in the middle who covers the short yardage stuff. Oh, well at least I can’t hear the coaches yelling at me for all the stuff I’ve missed!

    Michael Smith Reply:

    @Bill, Maybe hearing loss is God’s Gift to those of us with children.

  5. Angie
    on Sep 13th, 2010
    @ 8:36 am

    Well, this is depressing. I turn 40 in 8 days.

    Michael Smith Reply:

    @Angie, Get out and LIVE while you can!!!

    Enjoy the last good 8 days you will ever have.

  6. Dave Meister
    on Sep 25th, 2010
    @ 6:03 am

    I was working on a very clever response to this but I sneezed without stretching, and now that I am all recovered, I have forgotten what was so funny…..sigh…….

  7. Alex Villasenor
    on Mar 12th, 2011
    @ 2:53 am

    timely posting for me … i’m now 42 and i’m starting to notice these little aches and pains and strains! i can’t play badminton that much (or don’t feel like it because the recovery takes one full day) and my eyes start to strain when students give me something that isn’t bigger than 10 font. so, i’m taking what i eat even more seriously to counter these “problems” — that is, not eating much sugar (only from fruit) and taking in a lot more veggies … and only brown rice for me, baby! :)

    Michael Smith Reply:

    @Alex Villasenor, Fonts are a Tell-Tale sign of Oldness.

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