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February 3, 2022

A Middle-Age Manifesto that can Change your Life (at any Age).

*Editor’s note: well-deserved salty language ahead!
~

On a warm January afternoon, I bumped into a friend at the mall.

We began chatting and he made a revelation that caught my attention. He spoke with such clarity and bravado, shouting, “I want to get a little crazy this year. I want to do things that I wouldn’t typically do. I want to have sex with every hot woman I encounter. I just want to fuck.” (Yes, this friend of mine just had a milestone birthday, so this was not too offbeat a statement. I’m just waiting for the shiny red sports car to accompany his newfound midlife manifesto.)

He then continued, “I want to live like it’s my last day, every day.”

It got me thinking as I drove home on Santa Monica Boulevard, eagerly shoving the third bag of Trader Joe’s peanut butter pretzels down my throat. It made so much sense to me: his rash impulsivity, his new way of thinking, especially in this insane world we are all living. I fully understood my friend’s desire to do something a little dangerous and unexpected. To live fully and embrace our days like we did when we were all just shy of our seventh birthday, minus the sex part of course.

It made me realize that life as we know it in this crazy COVID world has seemed to make people a little more chancy and venturesome. Why? Because I think life has gotten so much more unpredictable and, to be honest, really fucking scary.

“Sometimes, the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy.” ~ Susanna Kaysen

If you are middle-aged, you can probably relate to this sudden awakening. To thinking, “What am I waiting for? I’m just going to do it. If I don’t do it now, then when?”

We think we have all this time on Earth, and before we know it, we wake up with wrinkles between our chest and hellacious back pain. Now I know some of you are thinking, “Well, I have responsibilities. I run a company/am raising teenage assholes/am taking care of an elderly parent. I can’t just say ‘fuck it’ and do something impulsive.” Or can you?

Well, I’m here to tell you that you can! (Note: I know that not all of my readers are going to run and do something precarious or illegal, but if you want to run around your city butt-ass naked or profess your undying love to a friend, just know that you’ve got balls and I wish you luck.)

“Get weird, let loose, who cares.” ~ Author unknown

Here’s a little exercise to help each of us find our own version of “going crazy”—write your obituary. Yep, you heard me.

I know some of you might think this is off-putting or morbid, but I’m telling you, it will put your life into perspective. Imagine yourself at your funeral: all your family, your friends, your ex-lovers are gathered around. What would they say about you? How would the eulogy start?

>> They were always on time.

>> Their house was always clean.

>> They had great-smelling candles.

>> They were an “A” student back in the day.

Is that what you really want them to remember? Let’s try it another way. How about this:

>> They lit up a room with their genuine smile, infectious optimism, and social grace.

>> They were up for anything and fearless with their emotions and vulnerability, especially in relationships.

>> They were always up to try new things, just because.

>> They didn’t care what anyone thought of them. They owned their true selves and lived life on their terms.

>> They fell in love hard, and as often as they liked.

>> They were always kind, no matter what.

>> They were playful, joyful, and amusing.

>> They were grateful for their time on Earth and explored all its possibilities.

>> They made sure to take risks and had many adventures.

>> They had no regrets because they tried—because they lived. 

“Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin.” ~ Grace Hansen. 

So how will you live today? What will you do differently?

Whether it’s relocating to that new city, joining Cirque du Soleil, or bungee jumping off Macau Tower in China, think about your obituary—and my horny, middle-aged friend—and remember it’s time to get crazy and go a little bit nuts.

~

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