By: Kenneth Stepp
Getting old has it’s benefits. Discounts on many things, instant respect in certain crowds, and the appearance of being wise. There are a few more. But the downside of aging far outweighs the upside for sure. If you are above 40, you get that. If you are above 50, you could write a book. Today is a new day for me. It is officially my first day of being old. For a week now, I have felt weird. I was advised by a dear friend to check my blood pressure. I shrugged it off. After all, I’m Kenneth Stepp. 114 over 193….. Wow! I have been on top of my health my entire life. 70 over 120 for decades. Two months ago my doctor checked me. I was perfect. Not today, today I feel old, officially old.
In my family, I’m the youngest in my family. My big brothers still call me kid. I was nicknamed Tarzan in my bodyguard days. Since that handle was put on me by Stevie Nicks, I decided to keep it. My other nickname, “Karma” made more sense. When someone was damaged by someone for all the wrong reasons, I was called in to even the score. I remember when one of my best friend’s daughter was raped. Plenty of evidence, her best friend was restrained and forced to watch, no doubt he did it. I had known her since she was in diapers. To say there was an emotional attachment would be an understatement. Rape! Even the word is repulsive. His family was wealthy and all lawyers, deep in the political scene. He called me. My only question was how do you want me to leave him? Her grandfather was a chief of police somewhere in Georgia. Not saying where, but he knew me. Alive was the only word said. I complied, although barely. We did wait until the judicial system set this animal free. It’s that simple. I feel nothing I did was wrong. Sometimes, money and influence alter the system. Karma sets it right. “Judge away”
Getting old happens to all who age. That sounds comical, yet, we miss it until we have that pain while getting off the couch. I have always felt youthful. Heck, I have always been youthful. I do life like a teenager would. I create fun and wallowing in it as long as I can. Time in my world, is not a barrier at all. Well…. Until today. Today my doctor told me to go to the emergency room. Absurd to think, he is a friend. He is well meaning I guess. But, I am me. I can’t have a chink in my armor. It’s impossible. Perhaps the intensity in which I do life is catching me. Maybe it means I should move a little faster so it can’t get me.
I see another 40 years in my future. I mean 40 vibrant years. Not old man years, none of them. My family is a healthy bunch. They live long and hard. I will too. That settled, I need to totally forget the numbers today. They can only be a wall for me to hit one day. Nothing that will affect me, I won’t allow it, I can’t. I don’t have time to be sick, weak, or admitted to a hospital. I have many goals, and I am on track to achieve them. Way more fun than the paperwork involved in a hospital visit. Gees, what was I thinking calling my doctor anyway?
Having rejected the prospect that I am aging or that something could possibly be wrong, I decided to write about it. It’s my thing I guess. Everyone has a thing don’t they? What’s yours? I have friends that run to the doctor for every little thing. Eventually, they get burned because of this. One friend had them take a kidney out because there was a shadow on it. After removal they learned it was a perfectly healthy kidney. I tried to talk him about waiting. To no avail, sadly.
Grab life by the shirt collar, pull it into your face, and tell it you are here to enjoy it. It’s all we have. Today, that is. Attack it, live every second of it, and let the sun hit your face every time it shows up.