Losing a phone number, embracing midlife woes

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Editor’s note: This column originally was published May 23, 2008.

My youngest daughter will be turning two-and-a-half years old in a few weeks, and all because I lost the phone number of the vasectomy doctor.

What a lucky loss. I am 46 going on 27 and will be around 62 when my littlest girl takes off to college. That is, if college is even close to affordable in 17 years.

When I was a resilient rugby player and boat captain in my 20s and 30s, I never really thought about middle age and getting older. I was sailing and scrumming down, chasing around the islands, feeling as invincible as most people feel after graduating college and have more life to look forward to than look back on.

Now I am looking at downsizing my Ford Expedition to maybe a Miata, or something that is kind of sexy-looking but gets better gas mileage, and my wife Jodi, says I am having a midlife crisis. The other day she pointed out an older gray-haired guy in a Miata and said, “Doesn’t that guy look ridiculous?”

I quickly pointed out that my hair is not that gray. Secretly, I was thinking that he actually looked kind of cool.

Then I brought up maybe a motorcycle to ride to work and save some gas. A nice Harley, sporting the side bags where I could put my laptop briefcase and assorted briefcase items. I had this picture in my mind again of my mid-20s when I had the Honda 750 with a 4-into-1 header exhaust system, ape hanger handlebars and purple metallic flake gas tank.

Again, my wife Jodi burst my bubble with, “Yeah, and your three-piece suit and reading glasses would go well on that motorcycle.”

I don’t enjoy the tobacco use on the golf course anymore. I take a multitude of colorful vitamins every morning that may have resembled substances used on the weekends during college – at least according to my friends.

I was actually thinking about going back and refereeing some rugby games until I oscillated (an old rugby term for running for the larger forward players, used exclusively by the Eau Claire Rugby teammates in the 1980s, as in, “We don’t run, we oscillate”) after an errant soccer ball awash in the wind at Goose Gossage park last Saturday and pulled a piece of fat in my knee, which somehow made me think twice about it.

Getting older has its high points I guess. I am usually in bed … asleep, that is, by 10 every night. I can tell when someone isn’t being all up-and-up with me pretty-much right away and can read a balance sheet or profit-loss statement with the best of them.

I guess with age comes knowledge and wisdom. But when I was younger, I thought I knew what was best. It was my boat captain days when I actually started listening to my elder boat captain friends and it probably saved my life and some other lives a couple of times, as in, “The water gets really shoaly and shallow at the mouth of Highborne Cay; stay with a southern approach.” And: “Watch for pirates around Andros Island, they have some hangouts there.”

Getting older may add joy to life’s experiences, such simple enjoyments as taking my kids to school, Saturday soccer games and dance recitals. If I were younger maybe I wouldn’t appreciate it all so much.

Meanwhile, I will probably need to practice my greeting: “Welcome to Wal-Mart.”

Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at Lon.Matejczyk@csbj.com or 329-5202.