Don’t tell me I’m getting old

January 25, 2018

Mike Wilcox Editor/Publisher

Mike Wilcox

Sometimes writing this column can be a real chore. I just put the finishing touches on my latest rant- this about the government shut down, when I learned late Monday, that Congress voted to fund the federal government until February 8.

Placing that to one side, (I suspect it will probably be relevant after Feb. 8) I decided to write a piece on becoming a year older last Friday. Yeah that was another birthday to this guy that seems to be getting older by the minute. Not that I feel it, mind you. In my mind I’m only approaching the age of 35, but in other ways I guess you can say I’m aging.

For instance my eyes continue to see less. Without my trusty reading glasses I might as well be blind. And my bedtime which use to be just short of midnight is now several hours short of 12 a.m. Vice-versa I use to roll out of bed at 7 a.m., but like most old codgers, I now arise at 5 a.m.
I use to be an extremely active person, playing basketball, softball and touch football for many many years. Now I watch those sports. It’s more entertaining to crack a beer and bag of chips in front of the television than run up and down the court and apply Ben Gay afterwards.

Having a teenage son, and being in the news profession, however, has maintained my mental age at 35, or so I think. My thirst for knowledge has never been greater and thanks to social media like Facebook, that thirst is quenched, and then reinvigorated daily.

Gosh I remember back in the day when computers were all the rage. Then it was cellphones. Then the internet and the worldwide web became popular and everyone had to partake. The list of technological wonders goes on and on, and inventors like Elon Musk who brought us Paypal, Tesla and SpaceX continue to roll out new inventions that were only envisioned by cartoonists back when I was a kid.

In my lifetime I suspect space travel, where ordinary citizens like you and I, will ride back and forth to the space station and maybe Mars. I suspect artificial intelligence will be all the rage in a decade or less. Look at what Google and others have introduced with Alexa, the home companion that tells you what the weather will be today or who won the ball game last night.

As an aside, my wife proclaims, her new best friend to be Alexa. She says she can ask Alexa most anything, and never get a frustrated look or nasty comeback in return. Alexa doesn’t have all the answers, but for many older people, she has become the very definition of a talking encyclopedia.

As we grow older we are expected to be wiser, and more patient. Our grandkids love us because they believe we are more understanding and tolerant than their parents. I’m not sure I fit the bill. I’m still the young entrepreneur I was when I started in business, taking risks and not afraid of failure. I still don’t have the patience of many of my peers. Don’t catch me in a drive-thru or on the phone with customer service. I’m very likely to go off.
In some respects that’s good. I’m not willing to accept old age gracefully. I believe the day I do is the day I need to start seriously thinking about my graveyard plot. No 35 is a good age for me, no matter how many birthdays come my way.

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