Day 50: The absence of pain

When you’re young and you say “I was feeling no pain,” you mean that you were happily drunk or high. 

Today I was feeling no pain, but in the sense that a 50-something means it: Yea!! I didn’t have any pain! 

Well, no major pain, anyhow. True, my foot ached from the bone spurs, and my hip hurt after a few hours at my desk, and after I went swimming my shoulder was sore. 

But I wasn’t curled up in sciatic agony or limping or digging out the Percocet. And I wasn’t morose, or even melancholy, as I feel some days when too many people I know have died and the world seems to be going to shit.

This is the difference between youth and being, say, 56: When you are young, you place a premium on the pursuit of pleasure. Sex, intoxication, driving fast, jumping high, dancing all night, looking gorgeous … so much energy and time and money gets channeled to those things. The crash is just part of the ride.

When you are older, you put a premium on the avoidance of pain. Comfortable shoes with good insoles, Steelcase office chairs and LaZ-Boy couches. Cutting back on any food or beverage that might upset your digestion or your sinusitis. Maintaining a routine that keeps you calm and happy.

It’s not that you wouldn’t like to dance all night or have sex five times a day. But only if you had back the body that really excelled at those activities.

I don’t actually mind being over 50. It’s the opposite of being 25, rather than being twice of what a 25-year-old is. 

That feels good.

Today, Day 50 of this project, my penny is an ’05 … because it’s the reverse of 50.