Countdown To Obsolescence

“..breath deep, the gathering gloom.”

In three weeks time I will be fifty years old.

I have a problem with that.  I have a real problem with that.  I hate my birthday at the best of times–August in general tends to be a very bad month for me–but this birthday is worse than usual.  Forty wasn’t so bad.  When I turned forty I was making some changes, some positive, some less so, but forty felt like a milestone.

Fifty, though?  Fifty is how old dead people are.

I am trying not to let it get to me.  I am still doing things.  I am working towards launching a new project that I am very excited about.  I still have full mobility, still have full use of my hands–I hurt a lot, much of the time, but I can still walk and type and build.  I know, intellectually, that my life is not over.

Damn, but it feels that way some times.

Age is just a number?  Really, gosh, that’s so comforting.  Radiation dosage is just a number, too, how does 2500 rad grab you, asshole? 

There’s so much that I haven’t done.  There’s so much that I don’t believe that I will ever do, now. It’s hard not to be bitter about that.

I look around me, and I see a very bad world to grow old in.  I don’t see that changing any time soon, either.  This isn’t a world that has the inclination or the resources to care for people who can’t care for themselves.  I am terrified of growing weak.  I’ve always survived by being tougher than the world–stronger, faster, smarter, more willing to do whatever needs to be done.  I feel that slipping away now.

I am not scared of dying.  Death is natural, inevitable.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t understand that we are all going to die and accept that.  I am scared of pain, and helplessness, and slow decay.  I am scared of getting old.

“…breath deep, the gathering gloom
watch lights fade from every room
bedsitter people look back and lament
another day’s useless energy spent

impassioned lovers wrestle as one
lonely man cries for love and has none
new mother picks up and suckles her son
senior citizens wish they were young

cold hearted orb that rules the night
removes the colours from our sight
red is gray and yellow white
but we decide which is right
and which is an illusion”

About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle.
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14 Responses to Countdown To Obsolescence

  1. LindaGHill says:

    Live in the moment. Fully enjoy what you now have. Let the future take care of itself – it will anyway.
    P.S. You’re only about 5 months older than I am.

    • MishaBurnett says:

      What I have now is working full time and writing full time and struggling to make ends meet. If I don’t think about the future, and have some hope it will be better, then I would just give up.

      • LindaGHill says:

        In that case, look on the future with positive intentions. We all have our struggles to face and I know it’s not easy to focus on what’s good all the time, or what we have to look forward to that can be good. Hope is a positive thing, but belief that life can get better is invaluable.

      • MishaBurnett says:

        You’re right. Hope becomes a virtue at the point where it ceases to be rational.

  2. l0rdraven says:

    Though a am a few year your junior I totally get it. I turned 43 this year and it was a WTF moment. I looked at the bucket list and its still fairly full with a few things that might be on the impossible list now, but we shall see.
    40’s not old, yeah if your a damn tree, but like you I still have use of my body and just decided its time to lock it down and start checking things off the list.
    No regrets, just hit the gas and go

  3. Daithi says:

    19 was the big shock for me. Suddenly, I had nose hair. Nose hair, what’s that? Then at 20, I saw a grey hair. OMG. I mean, I thought you were supposed to get those when you were like 35 or something, you know- when you’re old. So, then when I hit the big 30, dang, I thought I would die. But you know what? I started getting handsome again. So now I figure, what the frick frack, by the time I’m 90, I’ll be really handsome. So far, I’m right…so, look forward to your age…it can’t be any worse than massive zit mountains at 16.

  4. Marie says:

    We are about a year apart – I will turn 51 in August. Aging doesn’t really bother me, though. I’m just happy to be here. In fact, it’s a miracle that I am here. Happy birthday, and may you live long and prosper. 🙂

  5. Vagrance says:

    And here I was worried about turning 25. =D

  6. fortyoneteen says:

    I blame the damn Doctors, every time I see mine she keeps reminding me that it’s all about maintenance at my age! What? Testing this and that, things that used to be assets now something to “keep our eye on”!! Gawd! So, I swallow my hand full of fish oil in the morning, I listen to my iPod (mostly) turned down and I only drink red for the antioxidants! Yeah right… Happy Birthday Misha!

  7. Help Me Help Holly ♥ says:

    Mum was only 58 when she died in April 😦 Not trying to depress you or anything, just that I often wonder if I could just speak to her, what she may or may not regret. I know she had quite a few years of struggles and then a year before she died dad got a new job and they had managed to clear some debt and she was really starting to enjoy life again when she passed. (sucks!!!) . Anyway. I guess since she went I’m more determined to try and enjoy the moment. I’ll be 37 this year, and I tend to let the small stuff get to me. Trying to take a deep breath and shake it off now. Not worth it. Happy almost birthday Gandalf! x

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