"El Loco Rises"
created by
Michael McCaffery

Updated April 20, 2022

AGING
and
THE SECRET TO LIFE


A Whimsical Essay

by

 

Michael McCaffery

“El Loco”

April 20, 2022



It seems as if it is - as they used to say in the old western movies of my youth - “time to saddle up and mosey on.”

 

I had to look up the definition of “mosey” since the words I write are normally not generated by me, but by some foreign presence that lurks in my failing brain that has its own mind, which I then gladly substitute for what I have left of mine, thereby avoiding any responsibility for the outcome, and any hurt feelings or rage or horror or humor or sadness from the Reader, thereby getting off Scot-free to create more havoc further down the line.  I have had much practice in this area, some of it coherent and socially acceptable.

 

For any new readers who, to their astonishment, have stumbled upon this writing of mine, I will yet again acknowledge that I ramble on and on, pausing only occasionally for a breath, a comma, a new paragraph, or a drink of water or bathroom break.  I am fueled by caffeine and a burning desire to entertain not only my massive reading audience (now up to three or four, but “hope springs eternal”), but also to allow me to rid myself of all these jumbled thoughts, erratic messages of great import, and weird connections between seemingly disparate and diverse and diverging ideas.   I also want to have fun, and urge the Reader to do the same.  It is only life, after all, and what better use do you have of your time, other than saving the planet/mankind/western civilization/or your own sorry ass?

 

And since part of moving on involves something to move on from and to (the old “subject, object, predicate” from grade school), I will use the random and erratic daily events to make some kind of point, which I will not know until I complete the whole thing, look back and read it, and then deduce some theme from the whimsical effort, and possibly share it with the Reader after sufficient manipulation and rewriting.  That 

is also how I approach my life now.  It works better than all the other ways I have tried - so far.

 

First, I am a somewhat “old school” writer, given to laborious and intricate phraseology and weird and random thoughts that emanate from the distant cosmos, and find temporary lodging and sustenance in my brain tissue.   This is my method to get rid of those old “pesky“ things, and to enable me to move on new important things.   I acknowledge that the definitions of “new” and “important” are not at all the same, or even similar, but they often occur to me that way, until I re-read what I have written and change it.   

 

If you think this is hard to read, you should see my first draft, which has gone to the “Cemetery For Great Literature In The Sky.”  That place is getting rapidly filled, even if unacknowledged by curious questioning life-forms.  

 

Now that we have covered structure and ground rules, let us begin.


WHAT IS AGING?

 

Let us go to the source of this term “aging” and explore it a bit, not only for clarity but also so that we start from the same place, arms linked, whistling along, as we explore the topic.

 

I will use Wikipedia as the primary - and certainly not the only - source of information regarding aging.  Further, the subject of aging is receiving more and more attention as time progresses onward, resulting in increased life spans, healthier EOL (End Of Life) issues and ailments, and much information is being accumulated about aging, the causes, the remedies, and of course, the most important and most likely the only sure-fire cure:  Acceptance.

 

All the eternal verities come to play when examining this topic, including diet, exercise, outlook, mental and physical and spiritual activities, genetics, and general overall outlook and attitude (optimistic or pessimistic or simply the usual paranoia).   Most engaged western civilization citizens are aware of these issues, whether or not they are proactively used to create a lifestyle which enhances longevity.

 

The writer (that would be me) was a bit late for that train, but I am trying to make up for it nowadays as a token of awareness of - and respect - for the entities who are in charge of this whole thing called Life.   This is not uncommon, which is one of the Greatest Truths that I have learned, even if a bit late in the process called Life.  

 

Ultimately, my view is that the ephemeral quality called “attitude” plays the most important part, after adjusting for all the other factors (as any good scientist or engineer would do, even if erroneously done), followed by the blind dumb luck of genetics, otherwise know as “blame the parents.”   I know for a fact - only for me, of course - that “attitude” is the most useful and impactful quality that corresponds with successful aging, along with BDL (Blind Dumb Luck).   Of course, we only have control over the former, and not the latter, although there are ways to put one’s finger on the Scale of Life by becoming more conscious of the impactful attitudes, beliefs, activities, and actions we have and perform in our daily lives.  It is unfortunately rarely used by normal civilization.

 

Enough pedantic homilies (by the way, that phrase is one of the most useful I have learned, as it describes my writing and preaching and exhortations and thoughts and ideas, and I say that in all pride, humility, wonder, and disappointment).  By the way, I invite you to look up the definition of those words, since you will remember their definitions better, and might even learn something.  I certainly did.

 

It is tempting to dig up lots of facts, figures, conclusions, assertions, and consequent rules to deal with almost any subject, and especially “aging” in that we are all in the act of “aging” in every moment of our lives.  Viewed that way, it seems relevant and most likely imperative to analyze what contributes to effective and desirable aging.

 

However, that is a lot of work, and I have no interest in doing that when I could do more useful, productive, and fun things that are decreasingly available and allowed by my “handlers.”  So, there again, we have the secret to life presented to us on a golden platter, pixilated, personified, and possible, ours for the taking.  A bit of research is required, and it would be no fun were I to list the secrets, as you would not believe how simple yet complicated they are, and it is only meaningful if you discover them for yourself.  Then you will “believe” them, and use them, and however it turns out will be because of your excellent judgment and good common sense, and not someone else’s fault.  As is always the case, which few know, understand, and accept.

 

We can do this just as soon as we take care of:

 

1. Item A - TBD

2. Item B - TBD

3.  Item C - TBD

4.  Item D - TBD

    (TBD = To Be Determined)

 

We now collectively begin to see the problem, I propose.

 

Now this is easy to do in our everyday lives, since we can easily focus on the careening bus hurtling toward us in a busy downtown crosswalk, and take appropriate avoidance measures if aware and agile enough.   But what do we do when we are zoned out, watching the idiot-box (no offense intended to idiots), engaging in mindless chatter, voting, or watching movies?

 

The answer is:  Nothing.

 

There; that is it.  As the classic Seinfeld episode reveals:  It is all about “Nothing.”

 

(More later, perhaps.  And, more importantly, class, all of this will definitely be on the final exam.)

Michael McCaffery

“El Loco”

April 20, 2022