Taking a Risk

So my pal the Rebbetzin's Husband is concerned about being young and dynamic. I get it. That is sort of a theme lately, the idea of being young and dynamic. Or maybe I should clarify and say that the boys and I are really wrestling with this aging thing. We're out there kvetching to each other about all sorts of crap about life.

In our band of merry men that I refer to as the boys we have a motley crew of fellows I have had the pleasure of being friends with for what feels like a thousand years. We have been through marriages, childbirth, divorce and death. I know that I have said a million times, but I still think that it is bizarre to be able say that we sound like the model for a bad sitcom. We're not supposed to be the stereotype.

I mentioned that to another father and he looked at me and said, "what makes you so special that you wouldn't fit into the stereotype. They are built on reality and then exaggerated."

I suppose that the answer is that my mental image of myself is different. In my mind I am not pushing 40. I am somewhere between 19 and 25. It may sound ridiculous, but sometimes when I look in the mirror  I am shocked to see the guy looking back at me. The face has more wrinkles than it should and the hair isn't quite what it used to be. The belly is a bit soft. If I flex I can still see the cuts, but takes a bit of doing. 

If I really was still that kid I wouldn't have to flex. So what are we really saying here. Are we really bemoaning the changes brought upon us by age? Yes, to a certain extent. I miss being able to eat whatever I wanted without worrying about what it would do to my ability to wear jeans. I miss being able to wake up ache free. 

And it would be a lie to say that I never miss the freedom. Sometimes I do miss that sense of anything is possible. I had no worries other than myself. At any given moment I could decide to do anything. Pick up and move to a new country? No problem. Quit my job? No problem. Chase the girl around the world if I felt like it? No problem.

Now things are different. Now I have to measure the impact of my actions upon the family. But the passage of time hasn't been all bad. I have an awful lot of good things that I can list upon my chalkboard of accomplishments.

The advantage of age is that now I understand some things about myself and life far better than I did when I was younger. Now the goal is diferent. Now the goal is to position myself so that I am living a life that is thoroughly satisfying. Now the goal is to focus upon my mental/emotional satisfaction.That is not to say that I didn't do those things before, I did. But when you are 25 it feels like you have a thousand years ahead of you.

I don't feel like that anymore. I don't feel like I am going to die anytime soon either. But I have learned that life is too short to be locked into doing things that aren't fulfilling. So I refuse to be guy that lives in drudgery.

Life is full of challenges and sometimes it is worth taking a risk to get the brass ring. Hell, why settle for brass when you can grab the platinum one.

Time is too short. I don't know about you, but I am not going to live a life based upon someday. I am going to live one that is based upon making the changes that I need to make to really live. Stick around and I just might blog about a few of them.


therapydoc said...

Oh, yes! Reread this one, baby, over and over again. It's great.

The Rebbetzin's Husband said...

Thanks, Jack.

Did you really feel the freedom back then? I only feel in retrospect that I had it; I never knew it way back when.

Jack Steiner said...

Hi TD,

Thank you.


I did feel the freedom, but the big difference was that I was more afraid of taking risks then now.

Anonymous said...

That post speaks to me - and I'm a girl! I'm just a couple of years younger than you but this 'don't waste life before it's gone' train of thought is whipping through my mind big-time right now. Say 'NO!' to existing and 'YES!' to living. Thank you for writing it out so clearly. Rachel

One Wink at a Time said...

If I'm really honest with myself on this subject of aging and growing and changing... as comfortable as my life is and as many responsibilities (albeit welcome as they are)that I have... if I had to do it all over again, I think I would have done it solo. I may have ended up alone/unfulfilled, whatever. But I would feel free. And that's a big deal. These thoughts could change of course, depending... on so many things...

Jack Steiner said...

Hi Rachel,

Now all we have to do is go out and do it.;)


That is the hard part of all this. There are so many little things that can change everything. It is really tough to figure out the right move.

One Wink at a Time said...

Sometimes I think it was all planned out and no matter what we do or the choices we make, we'd end up right here where we are anyway.

Jack Steiner said...


I just can't accept the idea that we don't have free will. I know what you saying but...

One Wink at a Time said...

The reason I say this and the reason I say sometimes is because every now and then something happens in my life that is just so right, despite (and sometimes even contrary to) the choices I've made up to that point. I dunno, I don't often question it. Some things are just the way they are and don't need to be explained or understood.

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