Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Growing and Aging

When did I get old enough to have to start worrying about heartburn?  I've never had to before.  But just this last year I've realized there are foods that I just can't eat anymore without feeling very very sorry for myself in a few hours.  I'm learning that there are more foods out there that have it out for me every day!  Things that I used to love, things I heartily enjoyed, and things that I wouldn't think twice about even though I rarely ate them...  But the consequences of indulging are getting too painful to ignore, and lemme tell ya I'm tired of paying the price!!

So I'm up at 1:30 in the morning, making sure I am sitting upright so my stomach doesn't eat me alive.  I've listened to enough of my current favorite audiobook to feel guilty that I haven't done something constructive, so now I'm making a blog entry.  Because, darn it, I'm getting too old for this...  I should have much better things to be doing than concentrating on my breathing and maintaining a zen state while my antacid tablets are kicking in...

Which has led me down the merry path of comparing and contrasting myself with other people I know, pondering age and health...  and life choices.

I'm 42.  My parents had four children when they were my age--the oldest (me) already 2 years into college.  I admire them a great deal.  I wonder if they didn't have a deeper pool of wisdom than I do now.

We've lived very different lives, of course, and their life experiences are obviously different than mine.

But I don't remember my father having to deal with heartburn when he was my age.  I don't remember him having to be careful about what he ate like I'm having to be.  He had other issues to deal with, though--a bum knee from high school football that plagued him later on and eventually required surgery.  Four kids and their leftovers that he managed to consume so things didn't go to waste.  Radically transitioning careers that left the family richer and poorer at various times.

I guess we all have our challenges.  Mine are in my stomach.

And I guess things like this happen as we get older.  A lot of things have happened to me, anyway...  I've become less patient of others in some ways.  Much more opinionated.  I've become less social than I used to be, and avoid crowded restaurants and movie theaters.  I'm much more content to stay at home with my partner, and work in my garage studio as he works in his office den.   My circle of friends is much smaller, but my circle of acquaintances is much larger.

I'm more selective regarding my time spent on TV, and choose to watch the news much more than I ever have previously.  I find it less desirable to comment on what others say or share than I used to--maybe because I'm more content to be quiet rather than risk coming across as obdurate.  I read a lot of blogs, but rarely post anything.

It's interesting what growing up does to a person.  Things tire me much more easily than they used to, and I sleep more.  I get less done, I feel.  And while I grew up feeling intense pressure to plan for the future, I'm just not so concerned about it anymore...  It's an interesting balancing act between complete panic at the approaching unknown and subsequent lack of planning or direction, and a kind of zen approach of accepting what may come.  Looking back, I can see that what I thought were priorities in my life may have really turned out to be  "gifted" to me--they were someone else's priorities for me, not mine.  I was building a future on their fears for me.  And I'm tired of running around trying to shore up a future that simply isn't a reality.

Honestly, I don't know if my heartburn is from food or stress.  I'm not sure I'm not suffering from some depression, or mid-life crisis.  It could be fear of the unknown, or some generational angst.  Maybe it's just American cultural ennui, or an over-privileged "white whine".  Or just the fact that it's now almost 2:30AM, and I'm tired and rambling.

But I do know I have heartburn.  And this post was helpful.  For me.  : )

Live Life with Relish!  But in moderation--too much of any condiment could cause stomach upset.  Haha!!

Image from Bacon Sputnik via Flickr.  Creative Commons License.


  1. Hey Corey, I've got quite a few years on you but agree with so many of your thoughts here ... less patient, less social, less news. No heartburn but many more aches and pains, especially after this last move!
    I really like that shirt you're wearing in the photo, like a cool semi - lumberjack look!
    Feel better, my friend, get some sleep.

  2. I read about your move, Susan--goodness that creek is close!! But your place is absolutely beautiful, and I'm so excited for you!

    And, unfortunately, that's not me in the picture... I actually used it from Flickr's Creative Commons pool of images. A neat little tool, I can search their bank of over 100 million images and use what I need as long as I follow the rules for each "level" of attribution and don't do what I'm not supposed to with each image... You might find it interesting! Here's the link to cut and paste:

    Congrats on your move, Susan!! Beautiful pictures!! : )

  3. Thanks Corey ... and we are still having very heavy rains every day! keeping an eye on that creek/river.
    that sure looks like it could be you in that photo!
    hope you're feeling good now.

  4. Corey-

    Please consider seeing a gastroenterologist to be diagnosed. Your problem may be more than just simple heartburn.

    In the meantime, you may want to try OTC Prilosec. Take one 20mg pill before bedtime with an 8 oz. glass of water. (Make sure you take it several hours after dinner. You should not have food in your stomach when you take it.) It will take about several days for Prilosec to kick in. Hope you feel better!


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