I’ve stopped working out, running, even walking the dog beyond the amount of walking necessary to get her to go to the bathroom. I am back off the unmotivated wagon again when it comes to physical activity. I would rather be reading, thinking and writing. I’ve also been wanting to drink beer a little more than I should.
My program to regrow my hair and turn it dark again has progressed rather slowly. I’ve noticed very modest results, but my wife hasn’t noticed much of anything. The Shou Wu, taken first in pill form (it wasn’t specified whether it was prepared or not) and then in powder form, prepared, has seen a few more dark hairs appear on my head. I am tired of the powder, though, and am going to try a new pill form that is specified as being prepared, which means its potency is supposed to be properly distilled for maximum effect. The minoxydil has been applied to my head for about a year and a half, and the previous all-natural alternatives like Biotin, Rosemary and some oil whose name I forget right now, have all had very minimal results, but I continue to use them occasionally. I don’t really view it so much as a vanity project as a kind of pseudo-scientific project to satisfy my own curiosity.
I have lived with a mostly bald top and mostly white hair for several years now, and have benefited or not benefited from such a presentation of my hair. People who treat older folks with dignity tend to treat me more respectfully than I think they would if they knew how old I really was, and people who despise everyone over the age of…whatever is too old for them…tend to treat me like I’m irrelevant and washed up. I’ve occasionally sensed that some people think I might be my son’s grandfather, or have given me nasty looks for being a much older man than my wife, when I really am only six years older than she is.
What people think about all of it has always been a case of overly positive or negative reactions to whatever I decide to do with my hair. If I grow it out, I will get some negative reactions from some people, likewise if I shave it down. Family and closer friends all have opinions as well. It’s weird how something as stupidly superficial as dead matter that sits on top of the head and serves no real purpose can elicit so many deeply held opinions of people about who you really are on the inside. Being a white, straight, middle-class, American male, I think ageism in its various forms is probably the only kind of discrimination I will ever experience, unless I get too fat off of all this beer. Therefore, I notice it more than many others who probably are treated in differently in a much more pronounced way–good and mostly bad–for their skin color, sex, sexual orientation, gender, etc.
I’ve managed to do almost nothing during these two weeks of break between spring and summer semesters, other than obligatory chores, errands and the paperwork required to continue to go to school and live here at the greatly reduced rate. My book reading has been minimal–snippets of poetry and essays about messianism, as well as endless random internet scouring of all kinds of subcultures, various people and social groups not considered normal, and the occasional attempt to get started on my Greek.
My writing has been reduced to the biographical and the navel gazing. I am properly convinced that I don’t really have anything novel left to offer the world, except in the form of older writing that I haven’t posted yet. My ability to be creative has become pretty limited as I’ve gotten older–it seems like my brain as it’s aged has taken on a more literal, plodding sort of approach to thought, which is utterly boring to the reader. However, my desire to sit and write down my thoughts seems to be mostly undiminished, and so I am left prattling about minutae of the mundane and unexceptional. My political and spiritual soapboxing days are mostly over as well. I think my two theology classes and my numerous Bible and Christian history classes this past year have helped me get over some of the obstacles I had around Christianity and my continued love of Buddhism and my continued fear of a traditional sort of Christian hell.
All in all, I don’t really feel the need to pose a lot more soul-searching at this time or whining about Donald Trump and the American political landscape. It all is what it is, and my ability to exert any control over it is as close to nil as to be nil.
So, I am left to describe my life and days that pass as they really are. My son continues to develop at a pace that I would assert is normal–I don’t see him becoming one of those ten-year-old Harvard grads or anything, but he won’t be left behind by his peers, either. I am glad to have a mostly happy, normal, curious son rather than a son that merits me attention from the media. All in all, he seems to be mostly happy with our routines, though I would probably be chided by most child development specialists for showing him too much television and giving him too much tablet game time. However, I feel like I have to let these things progress as they will in a way that fits our particular life situation–what appears to be working for us shouldn’t be dismissed just because the experts have decided this year that it doesn’t work.