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Getting Old by Ray Printer Friendly

The Strangelands is truly a strange place, these days. Not in the frenetic, late-night, rant-filled way it used to be. It's a quiet, deserted place, now; more of a memory than an active site.

The last few times I've talked to Trey, he has mentioned doing away with it, and I don't blame him. I don't write nearly as much as I used to, and as much as I promise to do better, life continues to get in the way.

This website is old, it's outdated, and it barely works like it's supposed to. At one point, it was pretty shiny. It was new, it was interesting, and it was alive. After 11 years, the shine has worn off, to say the least.

What was once pretty intuitive programming has become obsolete; the world has become increasingly user-friendly, and let's face it: we were never that friendly around here, user or otherwise.

The coding isn't the only thing that has aged, either.

I used to stay up all night writing, pausing only to go smoke a cigarette or take another shot of Jim Beam. If I made it under the covers by 4 in the morning, I felt like I was doing good. Anything after that, I knew I'd be tired the next day.

These days, if I look at the clock and see that it's after 11, I know I'm in trouble the next morning.

And whereas 4 used to be a good bedtime, it's now about the time I wake up. Instead of stumbling through the kitchen to get to bed, I'm now stumbling out of bed to get to the kitchen, carrying a crying baby who has a craving for an entirely different kind of bottle.

I never planned on getting old. Not that I planned on purposely ending my life, I just didn't live with a long-term endgame in mind. I never much cared about longevity.

With the arrival of my son, I've had to start thinking differently about a lot of things. Obviously, staying alive as long as possible is now a much higher priority than it used to be. I want to be around to help him grow into a good man, and pass on any knowledge I've managed to gain and hold on to over the years.

I've noticed a weird thing, though--the longer I want to live, the older I feel. I'm sure a lot of it is in my head, and I'm sure a lot of it isn't--years of living life without thought for the future is bound to take its toll, both physically and mentally.

But just like The Strangelands, I'm hanging in there. I don't work as well as I used to, I don't produce nearly as many interesting stories as I used to, and just like this site, I've got quite a few broken links.

Getting older is a part of life. As obvious as that statement is, it seems like it's also something that catches us all by surprise. You wake up one morning, and as you stretch, your bones pop and your muscles ache, and you feel like you spent the last two weeks performing strenuous workouts, when in reality, you just puttered around the house. Body parts that have no business hurting hurt, and you wonder what the hell happened. What happened to your body, what happened to your youth.

And it's hard not to think of it as an ending, like when you're really enjoying a book or a movie, and you only have a few pages left to read, or a few minutes left to watch. The climax has come and gone, the problems are resolved, and the credits will be rolling all too soon.

But as cliche as it sounds, maybe this is just a new chapter. There are a lot of years left, and although they'll be different, maybe that's just a part of life. And maybe that's not too bad at all.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by, everybody. I enjoy our time together.

Posted under The Rants on 8/9/15


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