64 is not “middle-age”

Unless you genuinely expect to live to 128:

So why is there more age anxiety than ever?

The prime culprits, Ms. Cohen asserts, are boomers themselves. As marketers in the cosmetics, advertising and entertainment industries, they have been eager collaborators in the lucrative enterprise of rehabbing the image of middle age. It looks ever “thinner, smoother, sexier, wealthier, happier and hipper.” In fact, middle-agers have never been more powerful, more active or more alluring. But in the dark of morning, when you don’t get up in time for fitness class, does a nagging voice whisper, “You’ll never be as thin as Jane Fonda”?

First, there is no question that middle-age is past one’s prime. 25 to 35 is the prime of one’s life in practically every way. Make the most of it, because it’s definitely downhill from there. That doesn’t mean you can’t do important things or enjoy yourself thoroughly, only that you’re not going to do it as readily or as easily as you do then.

The great thing about youth is its energy and sense of possibility. Those things simply don’t exist to the same extent once one is past one’s thirties. I am far more fit and energetic than most men my age, and to be honest, than most men ten years younger. But it is nothing compared to how I was when I was 25. If I tried to do what was my weekly workout routine for even a single week now, I’m pretty sure I’d end up in the doctor’s office, if not the hospital.

The idiot Boomers are a perfect example of how one shouldn’t approach aging. Rather than deny one’s age, make the most of it. Exploit your experience, make use of what you’ve learned, and occasionally, throw yourself into something to recapture that sense of times gone by.

Last night I was talking with a friend of mine about the new Creative Assembly game, Shogun II, and we were discussing how much we disliked what they’d previously done with Medieval II in speeding up the combat to the point that there is no time to think about tactics, just send all your troops forward in one big rush. We both still prefer the original Medieval to the more recent one.

“It’s ridiculous, it’s just too fast,” I told him.

“We’re getting old,” he said.

I held up the PS/3 mike he’d just given me, which I hope will allow me to encourage at least one sniper to set up a bloody SOFLAM when I’m packing a Javelin and reminded him that I’d racked up a 1.625 k/d ratio and two Flag Attacker ribbons in three BF3 missions without any teamwork by my squad earlier. “We’re not done yet.”

He laughed. “No, we’re not done yet.”