It’s time for another guest column from my old and dear friend (he’s more old than dear), Dave B. Also known as “Mookie” for reasons that shall remain unnamed (because I can’t remember). Dave and I are of the same vintage, and he has some Jack Handey style “deep thoughts” about the aging process, and what happens when the balloon of big dreams meets the thumbtack of reality.
Without further ado, Mookie:
Everyone has goals in life. Some are super lofty, and in retrospect you might look back and say “WTF was I thinking? I had neither the ambition nor the life tools to achieve that!”
As we get older, we scale back a bit. Followed by even more concessions and re-calibrations as you sense your ultimate timeline winding down.
Where did I start and where did I end up? Let’s take a look and later you can play the home game version with your own goals.
Age 5: Be a garbage man. Should have stuck with this one. I could have done this. Really. I had the U.S. public education and the physical and mental tools. By now I’d be retired with a nice city pension, instead of still toiling away for “The Man.” I think about this every time I throw away the plastic wrapper on yet another bottle of Advil.
Age 12: Own a Ferrari. Hoo-boy, I was way off on this one. Those damn posters at Spencer’s Gifts and Alex P. Keaton-era Republican rhetoric led me to believe that anything was possible if you worked hard. I settled for a Prius later.
Age 16: Have a supermodel wife. Hey, I’m no Tom Brady but I didn’t fail in this department. I punch WAYYYY outta my weight class, as anyone who has met my lovely bride will tell you. She’s never been on the Victoria Secret holiday special but she’s a little bit ‘o alright.
Fast forward to Age 30: Hey maybe a I can get a Porsche 911. I know how to work on cars and have restored one. I can get a 911 at the bottom of its depreciation curve and retire it. Nope. Life and family squished that.
Age 40: Retire and be able to travel at will. Be a traveling ambassador. Enjoy the world and try to make it a better place. Nope. Thanks Wall Street! You greedy bastards single-handedly tanked the world economy and my 401K. I hope you all die lonely and in a lot of pain… but you won’t. Everyone loves money and you rodents squirreled away enough with your golden parachutes to ensure the highest quality healthcare and enough hangers-on to not die alone. So unfair.
Age 50: Sadly my only achievable goal left is to finish an entire tube of ChapStick before I leave it in my pocket and it goes through the wash and coats everything in a lovely-smelling waxy film.
Keep reaching for the stars! Hope your swan song looks a hell of a lot cooler than mine!