Too old.

One of the things people ask me is how I come up with stuff to write a post every day. some days it’s pretty boring. You don’t always go through exciting life events. Even then, writing a story about something bizarrely simple can still be entertaining to read. Some days it’s also fun to simply write an answer to the standard WordPress/Jetpack prompts. Fair enough, maybe it’s not super creative in terms of coming up with the subject. Who cares. It’s about how you fill it in. In the end, what matters most in writing, is that you just do it. Whatever the subject. Boring or awesome – anything works, and if you repeat this 300 times, you’ll be much more likely to produce something nice than something boring. At least that’s my experience anyway.

Is there anything you feel too old to do anymore?

This was today’s prompt…

I joke a lot about getting old. Especially to old people or to younger people.

Yesterday, I was in a meeting with three old professors (yes, you’re all old from my perspective, sorry about that). They joked themselves about being old. It was clear that for some it was more painful than for others. One of them wanted me to share in the pain, and also called me out for getting old. What can I say. The days wear you down. I’m the oldest I have ever been. At the same time, I’m the youngest I will ever be. Age is a perspective. I don’t give two shits about age.

I’m now 36 – medium old, as we agreed on yesterday – and I certainly feel different from when I was half my age. I used to pave streets, wheelbarrow my way through sandy paths for twelve hours a day some days, and do heavy gardening, and tree nursery work. I drank a lot, too. Which was the norm where I grew up. For years, I beat my body up with hard work, bad ergonomics, and toxic substances. Yet, now 18 years later, I wouldn’t be able to do any of the work now that I regularly did then, let alone the drinking. I’m still a reasonably strong guy, and although not in the best, I’m certainly also not in the worst possible shape. But field work beats me up. Full days if heavy lifting are over. These days I hire a moving company to do the heavy lifting. God, a single beer brings me down…

On the other hand, I am also getting younger and younger. Having two kids under 4 changes you. I have awesome conversations with toddlers at daycare all the time. Their toddler gibberish and my half perfect German are a fair match. Speaking to, and hanging out with toddlers makes you feel young again. I dance more than I ever did before, I sing loud with my kids all the time. I grew up being told thaty singing was unbearable, and that dancing was weird. I have always been insecure about moving. Dancing always freaks me out. What if I misstep? What if people find me ridiculous? That’s been my mode of thinking. Unfortunately. If there’s one thing I hope to inspire in my kids, it’s that they can be who they want to be, dancers, singers, dinosaurs. Who cares. I’ll lead by example. I never danced, but it’s never too late to start. It has never been more important to me.

Age changes you. For some things you’re too young, for others too old. But it’s all in the mind anyway, isn’t it?

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

8 thoughts on “Too old.

    1. Ooff. Yes! I can imagine that feeling the physical limitations of age is depressing. I mean, I still walk up mountains, but notice that I struggle more with 18 kilos on my back (kid + backpack). I guess this shows that we should not take any day for granted, but enjoy life to the fullest! It’s good for you though that France is also very beautiful a bit further away from the mountains (but I think you enjoy this regularly anyway!).


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