Full Disclosure: I am partnering with AARP to disrupt your thoughts on the aging process. I am being compensated for this post however the thoughts and opinions are my own.
Partnering with AARP might seem weird at the age of 34. But then again, I’m reminded that just the other day while grocery shopping, I bought ibuprofen in bulk so that the aches and pains that are associated with getting older are not a reason I am unable to make it out of bed in the morning.
Getting out of the bed in the morning seems like it is getting harder every morning. Some pains come every time my feet hit the floor. My knees throb as they loosen up as I walk to the bathroom. My thumbs are having a slightly harder time scrolling through Instagram on a given morning, AND I have reached the pinnacle of being an adult when I request no interaction until I have had some form of caffeine.
And to many, this sounds like just another part of getting older. But I have a slightly different take on all of this and the reason I bought ibuprofen in bulk…
Is how I disrupt aging.
We have this idea that the older we get, the slower we become. The less energy we have to be able to spend time on the things that matter to us the most. We look at our jobs and contributing to our retirement accounts as just a way to be able to provide for us when our bodies tell us that it is time to stop working. Our retirement age has become for many a sort of un-unattainable goal that we try to reach so we can someday be able to relax in the life that we have built.
But there is an entire life that we are building between the time we accept that first job offer and the day we say that we are going to retire from that job. It isn’t so much about being able to save for retirement but the memories that we are making along the way so that we can build even more memories during our retirement.
This idea of living for retirement, men who focus more on progressing in their careers over spending time with their family and telling themselves, “I’ll spend time with them during retirement.” is starting to change. Whether you read any blogs (like mine or any other dad-related content) or watch TV, or follow any dad on social media, you see that this stereotype is changing.
Dads, and in this case men, are becoming more involved in their family’s life. From changing diapers (and pressing for the addition of diaper changing stations in bathrooms) to coaching sports teams to being the primary caregivers to stay-at-home-dad, this idea that the male patriarch of the family wakes up, goes to work, comes home to dinner made and on the table, and then to retire to the recliner to watch that night’s sports event on TV is a norm that many men today are no longer accepting.
So where does this bottle of ibuprofen come into place? This bottle of pain relief that I decided I needed to by in bulk so that my knees aren’t aching in the morning and my thumbs can scroll up to see the next cat video on Facebook is for more than just easing knee pain.
It is about disrupting the aging process.
While I like to say that I take care of myself, the older I get, those aches and pains do creep in and sometimes make it hard to spend time with my family. Laying on the couch when my back goes out after carrying up the Christmas Tree has become as much a yearly tradition as repairing broken Christmas ornaments.
It doesn’t have to be that way!
That’s not the dad… the man… I want to be remembered as. I want to be able to participate in the yearly tradition of putting up holiday decorations as much as my two sons. I want to be there and actively involved in the after-school pick-up basketball game in our driveway. I want to be the dad who can finish mowing the lawn and then put on my baseball glove and play a game of catch with my kids.
If there is one thing that my kids have taught me it is that the older I get, it doesn’t mean I have to slow down. I can still be there in the dugout coaching my son’s baseball team and the next moment run to catch youngest who has made an escape from the stand and onto the field hoping to be just like his big brother.
Aging Is Fun
I don’t want to be the dad, who is so involved in work… saving every penny that I can for retirement and the fact that more than likely I’ll live to 104 (there is at least a 50% chance of it anyway), that my wife and kids can’t count on me to be there for my son’s school play. Yes, doing the best that I can for my career is important to me, but it is just as important as being able to strike a balance of a family man.
That is why I picked up that two-pack of ibuprofen while grocery shopping. It is there ready for the next time that I wake up, and my knees ache from that pick-up basketball game. It is there for the morning after my kids have asked me to throw them around in the pool or said just 5 more minutes playing catch. It is there ready for the next memories that I will make with my family.
That is why I am partnering with AARP to spread the message that you don’t have to age in the way that your parents did. You can be there for your family while preparing for a future to be there even more when you reach the age of retirement whenever that is for you.
YOU can disrupt aging.