by Brian on October 19, 2007

in A Parent in Israel

I recently turned 47 and I’m feeling old. When I was growing up, 47 would have already been “middle aged.” I’m not sure that’s still the case but just the same things have been changing for me and my body.

First off there’s my gut. It’s not huge, but it’s definitely growing. I’m eating and exercising the same, so all I can blame it on is age. I feel it when I run. It’s harder to keep up, to maintain my stamina.

When I mention it to friends they pooh-pooh me and tell me I’m still the skinniest 47-year-old they know. But after eight years of wearing the same size, my pants no longer fit. If my waist has gone up, how can it all be in my head?
My wife Jody bought me a present for my birthday. A gift certificate for 2 free sessions with a personal trainer. Is she trying to send me a message?

My second complaint about getting older is my eyes. The problem is distance. Recently, when we were driving home from a trip out of the city, I realized I couldn’t make out the cars in front of me, couldn’t see the signs directing us back to Jerusalem until I was nearly on top of them. We wound up pulling over so I could let Jody drive.

My optometrist says I need two pairs of glasses. That’s right, I’m going to be one of those old farts who wears his spectacles around his neck on a chain. I’ll soon be looking to raise money for a new software company I’m starting later this month. Investors expect generation y twentysomethings. How’s it going to look when this old geezer with two pairs of glasses dangling from his neck walks into the room? Checkbooks out? I don’t think so…

But the biggest sign that I’m getting old is that my darling daughter Merav, suddenly, seemingly overnight, has turned into a teenager…and she knows it. She won’t share anything about her life, indeed she’ll barely talk to us.

“How was school?”

“That’s my business and not yours.”

“Are you still friends with Daniella?”

“Talk to the hand.”

“Where are you going tonight?”

“Ooh, you’re so controlling!”

What happened to the eight year old little girl who loved to cuddle and wouldn’t go to sleep without me reading her a book for bed? How did I get old enough to even have a 14-year-old daughter? A friend once said you want to eat them up when they’re little; when they become teenagers you wish you had.

“You’ll never understand,” Merav told me. “You were never a teenager.” Doesn’t she understand I just want to be there for her, to share some of the experience I’ve gained in hindsight. I’m convinced that my life was no less a rollercoaster than hers. But trying telling that to our little “screamager.”

But 47 could also be a year of incredible opportunity. This is the year when my aforementioned web business will launch and either take off or flop. This is also the year when I am sure I will find a cure to the chronic insomnia that has plagued me for so long.

And then there was last night. As Jody and I were climbing into bed and were about to turn out the lights, Jody turned to me and in a come hither voice said, “you know….I’ve never been with a 47-year-old before…” One thing led to another and, well…

Maybe 47 won’t be so bad after all!

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